| Randy Livingston Scouting Report

Position: point guard
Height: 6-4
Weight: 209
College: Louisiana State University
Born: April 2, 1975
Opening Day (2002) Age: 27
Drafted: 1996, Second Round, Pick 42, Houston
NBA experience: Six seasons (one with Sonics)
Hand: Right
Acquired: Signed as free agent on March 8, 2002
Contract status: Unrestricted free agent

Randy Livingston Career Stats

2001-02 in Review: Spending training camp 2001 with the Utah Jazz, Randy Livingston was engaged in a fierce battle for playing time with John Crotty, who made the team, and Rusty LaRue, who was called up by the Jazz midway through the season. For Livingston, it was back to the CBA, where he played for both the Gary Steelheads and the Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 11 points and 7 assists per game on poor 35% shooting. In early March, the Seattle Supersonics, who had seen Livingston in their training camp the previous year, called him up with injuries decimating their roster. It took only two games for Livingston to get a chance to play meaningful minutes, and within a week of his arrival, he had emerged as the backup to Gary Payton. Livingston continued to serve in that role, providing strong defense and steady ballhandling, until the Sonics clinched a playoff berth. To get more playing time for rookie Earl Watson, Livingston went on the injured list for the remaining four games. But once the Sonics opened the playoffs, Livingston had replaced Watson both on the playoff roster and in the rotation. In game two, with Brent Barry struggling, Livingston played heavily. His six straight points to start a second-quarter run along with his defense were key as the Sonics split in San Antonio. He continued to play heavily as the Sonics extended the Spurs to five games.

Previous NBA Career: Livingston is considered one of the poster cases in favor of allowing high schoolers to enter the NBA Draft. One of the most heralded high school players in the time before such players did enter the Draft, Livingston was Gatorade's 1993 national high school player of the year. It was with great fanfare that he decided to attend Louisiana State University during the Tigers' heyday -- Shaquille O'Neal was only a year back. However, before Livingston could even set foot on campus, he suffered a torn ACL during a basketball camp and was forced to redshirt. It would not be the last that Livingston would face injury troubles. After an excellent start to his freshman campaign that saw him miss an SEC record by only one assist with 19 in one contest, while averaging nine assists per game, Livingston broke his kneecap. Then, in his sophomore season, Livingston suffered through back pains. All told, the phenom, the can't miss kid, played just 29 games at LSU before declaring for the 1996 NBA Draft. Livingston's injury history made him a question mark, and he lasted until the second round, being selected by Houston with their 42nd pick. During his rookie season with the Rockets, Livingston backed up starter Matt Maloney and played about 15 minutes per game, displaying flashes of his previous brilliance but generally struggling. During 1997 training camp, the Rockets sent Livingston packing. He was picked up by the Atlanta Hawks, who employed him off and on throughout the 1997-98 season, three stints in all that totaled just 80 minutes of game action. When he wasn't with the Hawks, Livingston was with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the CBA, where he averaged 15 points and 7 assists per game. During the 1998-99 season, Livingston spent more time with Sioux Falls, where he made the All-CBA second team despite seeing his numbers drop virtually across the board from the previous season. Livingston spent a week with the Miami Heat during the regular season, but failed to see any action, and then was signed by the Phoenix Suns at the very end of the regular season to back up Jason Kidd following an injury. He played one regular season game and then all three playoff games as the Suns were swept out of the playoffs. However, they were sold on Livingston, who returned as Kidd's backup for the 1999-2000 season. For the first time in his career, Livingston appeared to really be ensconced as an NBA player, appearing in 79 games and playing over 1000 minutes for the first time. In 14 minutes per, Livingston averaged nearly 4 points and better than 2 assists. At the end of the season, Kidd went out with injury and Livingston was thrust into the starting job, where he held his own starting three playoff games as the Suns advanced to the second round. After the season, he sought employment in camp with the Sonics, but was quickly cut. Livingston spent a week in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, playing just seven minutes, and spent the rest of his season in the CBA with the Idaho Stampede.

Shooting/Scoring: The once-great scorer now struggles to merely keep his head above water on offense. In none of his five stops over the last two years has Livingston even shot 40%, dropping to a woeful 28% with the Sonics during his 13 games. Using a set shot from the perimeter, Livingston is inconsistent at best outside of about 15 feet. He was just one for eight from three-point range with the Sonics, but is probably better than this. Livingston struggles at finishing in the lane amongst bigger players. He is an excellent free-throw shooter.
Grade: D+

Floor Game: During his time in Seattle, Livingston excelled the most -- and the most surprisingly -- in this regard. During his first 119 minutes as a Sonic, Livingston did not record a single turnover. He finished the season with only two turnovers to 26 assists and 176 minutes. Livingston's assist/turnover ratio of 13.00 was more than twice as good as the next best recorded by any NBA player last season (Minnesota's Terrell Brandon was second with 6.14). Amongst players with at least 150 minutes played, Livingston's 0.55 turnovers per 48 minutes led the league. This was not the result of any particular lack of aggressiveness, as Livingston still recorded more assists per minute than the Sonics' other backups for Payton. Never before in his career had Livingston put up numbers in terms of turnovers even close to the microscopic levels they were at in Seattle, so it may well have been a fluke.
Grade: B

Rebounding: For a point guard, Livingston does a fairly strong job on the boards. During his time in Seattle, he averaged 6.8 rebounds per 48 minutes and frequently impressed with his rebound totals. This performance was fairly consistent with the numbers he's put up in the past. Livingston is a slightly better offensive rebounder.
Grade: C+

Defense: Despite having lost much of his speed, Livingston is still a very good defender. At 6-4, 209, he is strong enough to contest any point guard and many off guards. He did not have any noticeable difficulty keeping his opposite number in front of him last season, and did a much better job than the rest of the team on the Spurs' Tony Parker during the playoffs. His steal numbers have been very strong on a per-minute basis throughout his career and remained so in Seattle.
Grade: B+

Intangibles: Livingston quickly and quietly blended himself into the Seattle locker room, and it is a testament to the personalities of all of the Sonics' backup point guards that there was no friction when Livingston usurped minutes that had previously gone to Watson and Shammond Williams. Livingston has battled through the setbacks he has been dealt like a warrior.
Grade: A

Overall: The most many teams can ask of their backup point guards is mistake-free play. Last season, Livingston provided just that. Adding in his defensive ability and good rebounding, Livingston was about as valuable as a point guard can be -- while shooting 28%. Turnover-free play or no, it's tough to maintain a job with a sub-30% shooting percentage. Livingston will have to find his shooting touch anew if he expects to find another job long-term. If he can shoot 40% without sacrificing his ballhandling, Livingston could be a regular backup point. That won't likely be in Seattle, where Watson is the long-term answer behind Payton. Depending on how the off-season plays out, Livingston could very well be in Sonic training camp last season battling for a third-string position. Unfortunately, even though he's just 27, Livingston is not considered a long-term prospect whatsoever. That means that though he could capably serve as a regular backup point, Livingston will probably be fighting for his NBA life again next fall.
Grade: C

I took to Livingston quickly and was personally hoping against hope that the Sonics would overcome their stinginess and keep him around for the entire season, as they did. As for the rest of the crowd, I'm not sure that Livingston was around enough for them to form an opinion either way.