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Livingston still key to plans

CLIPPERS REPORT

January 15, 2007|Jason Reid | Times Staff Writer

The Clippers were so impressed with the potential of Shaun Livingston that they declined to include him in proposals for All-Star guard Allen Iverson, who was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Denver Nuggets in December.

The Clippers could offer the third-year point guard, under contract next season for $4.4 million, a multiyear extension this summer that would begin in the 2008-09 season. If Livingston declined an extension offer, he would become a restricted free agent after next season, and the Clippers could match offers from other clubs.

Before the season, the Clippers decided to offer Livingston a long-term deal, team sources said, and that's still their plan despite his uneven performance to this point.

But based on his production, how much should the Clippers offer Livingston?

Although Livingston is having his best season statistically, averaging 9.7 points, a team-leading 5.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds, he has not shot well or scored consistently, contributing to the Clippers' problems on offense.

Livingston has displayed flashes of the talent that prompted the Clippers to select him with the fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft, but he has not made the strides many in the organization expected.

Livingston has acknowledged he must play better because "when you look at winning teams, you have to look at the point guard first." Other young point guards such as Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets and Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz appear to be ahead of Livingston on the learning curve.

In October, fourth-year Chicago Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich signed a five-year, $47.5-million extension. But with career averages of 14.6 points and 6.5 assists, Hinrich has been much more productive than Livingston.

Livingston's career performance seems to compare more favorably with that of Luke Ridnour, who has averaged 9.9 points and 5.3 assists in three-plus seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics. Ridnour signed a three-year, $19.5-million extension with Seattle before the season.

TODAY

at Golden State, 1 p.m., FSN Prime Ticket

Site -- Oracle Arena.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- Clippers 17-20, Warriors 18-20.

Record vs. Warriors (2005-06) -- 3-1.

Update -- The Clippers have won two in a row on the road. Warriors forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. is averaging 11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and three assists.

jason.reid@latimes.com

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