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Wizards sign Livingston for remainder of the season [UPDATED]

Shaun Livingston will finish the season as a member of the Wizards. When Livingston's second 10-day expired, the Wizards had to decide to keep or let him go. It made sense to keep him since he has already emerged as the starting point guard after only being around for 10 games.

After starting the season in Oklahoma City, getting cut in December and spending the next two months working out in Chicago and Florida hoping for some team to reach out, Livingston was understandably excited about sticking around.

"I'm being blessed. I'm in the league, a chance to showcase and play," he said. "I'm just happy, man."

In 10 games, including two starts, Livingston is averaging 4.9 points and 3.3 assists. He replaced Randy Foye as the starter after scoring a season-high 18 points with eight assists against Orlando last Saturday.

"I knew that the opportunity was going to present itself, but nothing is guaranteed. It's every day, at a day at a time," Livingston said. "It feels good. It shows my progress, just even with playing, regardless of my performance, and them giving me confidence to go out there and play and endure the physical grind."

Livingston, the former No. 4 overall pick of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004, is with his fourth team since tearing three ligaments and disclocating the knee cap in his left knee on Feb. 26, 2007. Oddly enough, Livingston signed his first 10-day contract with the Wizards exactly three years later.

"He's done a nice job. We have 15, 16 games to go and we want to give him a real good look for the rest of the season," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a telephone interview from Milwaukee, where he is scouting the NCAA Tournament. "Obviously, he had an unfortunate injury and he is still on the road to recovery, but he has a real feel for position. He has point guard instincts. He's tall and he knows how to play."

Livingston said that he is most pleased that he has been able to play at a high level. "My performance has never been in doubt, as much as my physical durability. I'm doing everything I can with my knee to take care of it," he said.

He just fought through one of the most grinding stretches since he came back, playing five games in six nights. "That was crazy," he said. "I never did that before in the league and to do it now, with my circumstances as well, is tough. But we made it through, obviously not the way we wanted to without any wins."

Coach Flip Saunders said he has been cautious about using Livingston too much, given that he had missed so much time before returning to the league. But he has been pleased with what Livingston has given the team in relatively limited minutes.

"He's done extremely well for us," Saunders said. "He's a guy that we want to continue to take a look at, because he seems to get better and better every time he steps on the floor. His quickness is coming back, he's aggressive with what he's doing with the ball. We like what he's done."

Alonzo Gee was also excited about earning his second 10-day contract with the Wizards. "I feel real good about it. The hard work pays off," Gee said. "I just got to keep working at it, to get better. You just got to stay focused, don't get satisfied and stay hungry."

Andray Blatche will play tonight despite spraining his left ankle on Tuesday. He participated in the morning shootaround.

Earl Boykins did not travel with the team to Portland. He stayed behind in Denver after coming down with a virus and will join the team in Los Angeles.

By Michael Lee  |  March 19, 2010; 4:27 PM ET
 
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Comments

I'm not sure 'odd twist of fate' means what you think it does, Mike Lee

Posted by: divi3 | March 19, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Earl Boykins did not travel with the team to Portland. He stayed behind in Denver after coming down with a virus and will join the team in Los Angeles.


By Michael Lee | March 19, 2010; 4:27 PM ET

Like maybe "replaceditus"

Posted by: Blurred | March 19, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Livingston, the former No. 4 overall pick of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004, is with his fourth team since tearing three ligaments and disclocating the knee cap in his left knee on Feb. 26, 2007. Oddly enough, Livingston signed his first 10-day contract with the Wizards exactly three days later.

Not even the Wizards would do that. Are you sure you don't mean three YEARS later, Mike? Tough road trip -- or are you just unfocused?

Posted by: Fief1 | March 19, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm really happy about keeping Livingston. I've always liked his game, and hoped he'd be able to come back to the league, and I'm real glad he's doing it with us!

I hope to see him start the rest of the season, get back used to the game, then have the full offseason to get ready. I think he's an ideal backup for Gil next year.

I'd also like to see us keep Howard, hopefully for about half his current deal. Keep Miller, again at a hopefully lower salary maybe around 2/3 his current deal.

Foye I don't know if there's really a role for him if Gil is coming back.

Boykins would be ok to keep as a 3rd point... depending on who we get in the draft (Sherron Collins with our 2nd 1st rounder??)

Young is ok to keep as a backup to Howard at SG... possibly start if Howard isnt ready at the season start. Ross is solid as a 3rd guy at the 2.

Miller at the 3, and can also slide to SG when needed. Al Thornton is also an option to start at SF or come off the bench at either F spot. You gotta like what Gee has done in his opportunity so far as a guy off the bench.

Blatche at PF obviously. Singleton has been good as his backup. At center McGee has shown flashes of potential. Oberto I think is a guy worth keeping of the bench if we can sign him at the vet min.

Then we have the draft...

DeMarcus Cousins would be a perfect addition to this squad. He reminds me a bit of Alonzo Mourning. If we can't get him I do also like Cole Aldrich, who kinda reminds me actually of Haywood.

With the second pick I'd love to get Sherron Collins as I mentioned above.

In the 2nd round, Clemson F Trevor Booker is a guy who plays hard and smart and is the type of player I'd like to get there.

Then we have free agency...

We should have some good room to add a piece or 2 to this mix... we loose Ilgauskas, Mike James, Drew Gooden, Foye. If we can re-sign Miller and Howard at reductions that also helps open some room.

If we draft Cousins to go with McGee, center is looking pretty good. Blatche, Thornton and Miller in the frontcourt is solid, and a Howard/Arenas backcourt could be flat out dominant. Don't know if we really need to do a whole lot in free agency, and not really sure who will be out there. It depends of what we do in the draft and who we keep from our current squad. I guess Amare is someone I'd look at to possibly solidify the 5 spot if we miss out on Cousins. But if someone who can help us is out there, it's good to know we can legitately make a move.

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 19, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy for Livingston and Gee. Shaun's come back from the dead (almost literally), and Gee is one of those guys who survives on sheer effort. I'm glad to see them succeed.

Of course, for them to succeed, the Wizards had to be a really, really bad team. And fortunately, they were.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 19, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

This is the first year that I can remember not having at least two or more ACC teams in the final eight.


LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD |

larry - I did three brackets at work (we split the winning between a charity and the winner, so it gets juiced by folks doing 2 or 3 or 4)

In one, I picked a MD and an Duke final. Don't think it will happen, but...

I do have a 92 rematch of duke v KY in the east finals in all three though.

To be honest, I didn't watch enough college ball this year to have a good read, but am hitting 80% in one of my pools. Of course I am like 40% in another.

Anyway...in my post earlier, i forgot to say Divi3 and rphilli would both have the winner, but argue over whether one team lost it or the other won it.

And of course, you , Larry, will say the coaching was the difference.

It's a great time of year for us BB fans, even if its not for us wizards fans

Everyone have a good bb filled weekend.

Posted by: Blurred | March 19, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Whatever EG (or WHOEVER will be in charge at the time) does concerning Blatche or the draft, you can bet they will do the wrong thing. That's what it has come to for Washington's NBA team, whatever their name is. This organization is of no consequence to the rest of the NBA world because it has made so many blunders through the years. I only follow them because I grew up with them, but let's all face it; they haven't threatened to be a contender in over 30 years! I took a look at the stats just to be accurate; In the 80's they averaged out to be a .475 winning team, the 90's they were a .373 team, and now in the 2000's, including this season, they are a .407 team. It's so frustrating. And I think that's why I beat by dog, Wizzy, out of frustration. The only hope is that the new owner will change the mindset of the organization, hire some different types of people to help him run the team, different as in that they are committed to winning. This commitment to losing that we have endured for 30 harsh, harsh years has just got to stop.

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshot | March 19, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if anybody watched Cornell thump Temple, but you had to be impressed with Jeff Foote. He's very long and very athletic, a little like Gortat of the Magic, or Varejao of the Cavs. Not an overt muscle type, but a solid 260-270. Be interesting to see what he measures, if he's really a 7 footer at all.

Mostly a defensive player at this point, it appeared. Those are valuable pieces to anybody's puzzle.

Off that one game, he certainly looked like a developmental candidate for a reserve center spot on some NBA roster.
I'd say he's as far along as Alabi and farther along than Hassan Whiteside, but of course he's older.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 19, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I hope to see him start the rest of the season, get back used to the game, then have the full off season to get ready. I think he's an ideal backup for Gil next year...

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 19, 2010 7:07 PM

Darnelll,

Like some of your choices of returning players, but Gil coming back as the starting point guard would be a disaster!!! We've already seen he, like Randy Foye don’t have the mental depth to run this team and share the ball. They have a score first mind-set and when pressed into making point guard decision, they don’t always make the right ones.

A true point guard brings the ball up court directing the team and is concerned about how to run the plays. He's always looking to assist on a play and when that cannot be accomplished, then he's looking to break the defense down.

Not trying to school anyone, (and It's obvious you have a working knowledge of the game) just trying to point out that the Wizards don’t have a true point guard in Gil or Randy.

Peace!

Posted by: bazteal | March 20, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Not trying to school anyone, (and It's obvious you have a working knowledge of the game) just trying to point out that the Wizards don’t have a true point guard in Gil or Randy.

Posted by: bazteal

The seeming condescending tone of your comment notwithstanding, I question your assertion that Gilbert is not a "true" point guard. If you mean that he is not a classic or traditional point guard in the mold you describe, I agree. Gilbert Arenas, however, breaks the mold for that position I believe. He is a prodigious basketball talent that a good coach would be wise to adjust his coaching style to, IMHO. There are areas that I see where Gilbert needs to make significant improvement -- his decision-making abilities (on and off the court) for example.

I say for Gilbert the same as we used to say back in the day about girls who had emotional baggage/issues but were so fine to casually pass up: "I'll take 'em on all dey problems."

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | March 20, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Oops... the quote above should have read: "I'll take 'em AND all dey problems!"

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | March 20, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think we have a shot at the first overall pick. It rarely goes to the team with the worst record (despite the odds). If you get the first pick you have to go with John Wall of Kentucky. We could use a real PG and shift Gil to number 2 if we can't dump him and his salary (preferred). Biggest need outside of that is Center position. I agree with bringing back Howard and Miller at reduced salaries. I would look to trade N. Young (never gonna play under Flip), and possibly let Foye walk. I would try to sign Singleton, Livingston and possibly A. Gee (minimum salary) next year depending on what you get in draft.

Posted by: WantUnbiasedNews | March 20, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

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