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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Austin Rivers likely included if Clippers trade for Carmelo Anthony?

Austin Rivers

The potential arrival of Carmelo Anthony in Los Angeles is likely to come at the expense of the Rivers family.

According to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, guard Austin Rivers, who is the son of head coach Doc Rivers and whom the New York Knicks pursued in free agency last summer, will “almost certainly” be included if the Los Angeles Clippers trade for Anthony.

The 24-year-old Rivers is one of the precious few young assets the Clippers have remanining on their roster. They already dealt away many of their future first-round picks, and the ones they have left are likely to fall in the less desirable mid-to-low 20s range.

Rivers is averaging 11.9 points on 44.9 percent shooting (both career-highs) to go with 2.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in 2016-17 and has proven to be a very capable NBA rotation guard. But an Anthony return package centered around him is severely underwhelming. The Clippers would also likely have to attach Jamal Crawford (in Year 1 of a three-year, $42 million deal), Wesley Johnson (also Year 1 of a three-year, $18 million deal), or J.J. Redick (making $7.38 million in the final year of his deal) just for the salaries to match up.

Such is life with the Clippers unwilling to part with any of their Big Three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. Still, the Knicks seem willing to work around that, so there may be at least some smoke to these rumors.

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