The Player: Shaun Livingston
The Team: Golden State Warriors
How does it affect the cap situation?
The Warriors already have just under $64 million committed in guaranteed money for 2014/15, in addition to $10 million total in cap holds for Steve Blake and Jermaine O’Neal. As Golden State is already over the projected $63.2 million salary cap, Livingston is signing for what appears to be the full Mid-Level Exception of just over $5.3 million per season.
How does it affect the luxury tax?
Without including any amount the Warriors re-sign Blake and/or O’Neal and assuming they pick up their option on Draymond Green, this signing puts the Warriors at around $70.2 million in total commitments with 12 players under contract. This leaves the Warriors around around $7 million to use to re-sign Blake or (more likely with Livingstone looking to assume the backup point guard duties) O’Neal and otherwise fill out the roster without exceeding the projected $77 million threshold. They will be also be hard-capped at tax “apron” of around $81 million.
The timing of this news comes as something of a surprise, as Golden State had to be harboring some hopes of being able to woo LeBron James if and when they are able to land Kevin Love from the Timberwolves. It is clear that to find a way to add both Love and James the Warriors will need to find takers for at least one if not both of Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala. The complications of Livingston’s receiving the full MLE probably indicates Golden State is forfeiting whatever small chance they had of adding James or another superstar free agent this off-season.
In the meantime, the negotiations with Minnesota likely remain front and center and make further predictions or planning difficult. The exact pieces moving in either direction dramatically affect what else the Warriors can do while remaining under that luxury tax apron. That deal that could be anywhere from imminent to DOA at based on the moment and the reporting source, but final resolution probably puts further Warriors moves on hold.