Austin Rivers to decline option, become free agent
“Sorry, dad, but business is business.”
We imagine the conversation between Austin Rivers and his father will go something like that when the Clippers guard informs the team of his decision to decline his player option to become a free agent. According to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, that’s exactly what Austin is doing.
Clippers guard Austin Rivers has decided not to exercise his player option for next season & will test free agency this summer. @ASM_SPORTS
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 1, 2016
Austin Rivers was a first-round pick by the Pelicans in 2012 and was acquired by the Clippers in 2015. His dad, Doc, is the Clippers’ head coach and GM and decided to trade for his son last January.
Austin has often been ridiculed for failing to live up to his status as the 10th player selected in the draft and the hype surrounding him when he arrived at Duke for college. However, he earned the respect of fans and his peers when he scored 21 points in a Game 6 loss to the Trail Blazers in the playoffs while playing through a nasty eye injury, and he still is only 23, with plenty of room to grow.
Perhaps Austin will want to sign somewhere he will have a chance to play more than the 21.9 minutes per game he averaged last season with the Clippers. His player option for next season would have paid him $3.3 million.