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Livingston a Sensible Target For Warriors

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The Warriors lost their franchise player this week when Monta Ellis went down with an ankle injury that will sideline him for three-plus months.

They also lost a combo-turned-point guard, leaving them even thinner at a position where they were already lacking depth.  With it looking like Marcus Williams will be at the helm for the present, we're returning to an idea we hinted at in brief prior to the Ellis injury: The Warriors may be the right team to make a play for Shaun Livingston.

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This is a Warriors team that was very disappointed to miss the playoffs with a fine figure of 48 wins a season ago.  Despite the loss of Baron Davis this summer, the Warriors committed themselves to efforts to stay competitive in the West.  The team shelled out major dough to retain restricted free agents Ellis, Andris Biedrins and to a lesser extent Kelenna Azubuike.  Golden State also paid up plenty to bring in slashing swingman Corey Maggette and high-energy reserve Ronny Turiaf.

To that end, losing anointed franchise cornerstone Ellis for any significant length of time is quite a blow.  The initial prognosis indicates that the earliest the Warriors can hope to have their dynamic guard back in game shape is late December, at which point the team could already be in something of a hole in a hotly competitive conference.

As it stands, Williams is the closest the Warriors come to having a reliable option at the point, and that isn't saying a ton.  While the guy has plenty of talent red flags have been raised about both his character and his weight, and he has made all of nine professional starts in two seasons in the league.  At the very least, the team could use someone to give him a real run for the spot and the minutes.

Particularly given the limited options on the open market, Livingston could be just that guy.  He is by no means a grizzled veteran himself, but he has started 60 games in 145 appearances in three seasons and has playoff experience, and the guy is itching to get back on the floor and prove himself in this league.  With the general lack of interest in him around the league so far, Livingston is likely to come cheap, and he's got a good reputation for putting his work in and generally conducting himself well. 

This is a guy who was drafted to be the franchise man alongside Elton Brand with the Clippers back in 2004.  He has that type of potential (and his own special size at 6-foot-7).  At the very least, the team could give him a shot at competing with Williams, which could either push Williams to up his level of play, or it could show us that Livingston is ready to return to the big-time.  If he can establish himself as the point guard and play very well in doing so, even better.  That could allow Ellis to spend more time at the two when he returns, which wouldn't hurt.

The Warriors need some help at the point.  Shaun Livingston remains both available and full of potential.  A low-cost marriage for the young team and young player might just work for everyone.