EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Shaun Livingston is about to get paid. He just doesn't know which team will be writing the checks.
Livingston is set to become an unrestricted free agent at just the right time: following a spirited comeback season in which he played a career-high 76 games and proved he's regained the explosiveness after his gruesome 2007 knee injury that had many thinking his career was over.
He settled into a comfort zone under Nets coach Jason Kidd and he admitted he's open to re-signing. "Yeah, I would like to," he said. "You know, they gave me an opportunity. I think it was a great look, chemistry and fit-wise. Playing for Jason obviously has been a huge benefit for me in learning the game. Being on this platform, this stage, I'm very grateful. I just tried to take advantage of it this year."
Livingston's in line to earn a hefty raise from the $1.27 million he earned on his one-year deal. The most the Nets can offer is a three-year pact worth around $10 million and the 6-7 point guard might be able to find a more lucrative deal on the free-agent market. But the chance to be on a potential contender remains an intriguing prospect. "That definitely plays a role for me," he said. " . . . I'd like to win. That's my goal."
Blatche to opt out?
Andray Blatche, who has a player option for $1.75 million, said "pretty much" when asked if he planned to opt out, but added: "Listen, my No. 1 priority will be to come back here."
Andrei Kirilenko also has a player option for $3.3 million next season and he didn't sound sure regarding his next move. He plans on mulling things over with his wife before determining what he believes is best for him.
"Sometimes everybody feels it's something difficult, but it's not," Kirilenko said. "Usually what I'm doing is I'm sitting with my wife and we're weighing our opportunities, our chances and different kinds of things. Details comes to mind, then you make a decision."
Much has been made about whether Brook Lopez can fit comfortably into Jason Kidd's scheme and if the 7-footer will have to alter his game next season. Lopez, who's recovering from surgeries on his foot and ankle, didn't deny that he'd have to switch his game a bit. "I think so," Lopez said. "I really haven't gotten to try that much, obviously. But you know, I'm sure there would be some adjustments to be made. ? It was pretty up-and-down. I think I'd have to get back to running the floor. But I think like I said there would be adjustments to be made. I don't think I can sit here and say what I'd be doing."