NBA Draft Profile: Shaun Livingston
Peoria Central High (Ill.)
Point Guard, 6-7, 185
Strengths: Livingston's greatest strength is that he's a 6-foot-7 true point guard — combining excellent height with a playmaker's mindset to produce a player who's been compared to Magic Johnson. Livingston is really a magician with the basketball, possessing stunning court vision and superior ball-handling skills. And unlike most 6-7 guys who can play the point but are really combo guards, he's a pure point guard with a knack for making his teammates better. In time, he could develop into a taller version of Jason Kidd. Even on defense, his length will allow him to bother smaller point guards with his wingspan.
Weaknesses: Livingston may be tall for a point guard, but he's extremely skinny. And although he has reportedly gained about 15 pounds since the end of the high school season, he still needs to bulk up at least another 15-20 pounds to be able to handle the physical play in the NBA. He's also not a jump-out-of-the-gym athlete who'll blow you away with his athleticism. And though he's an excellent passer, his jump shot and scoring ability need some work.
The Lowdown: If Livingston falls out of the top six on draft night, it'll be an enormous surprise. He could go anywhere from No. 2 to No. 6, with several trade possibilities making it hard to predict. Although some teams with high draft picks might not want to wait for him to develop, Livingston's off-the-charts potential at such an important position will make it hard for teams to pass on him. In fact, there's no shortage of people who think Livingston could be the best long-term prospect in this year's draft.