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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Doc Rivers on idea of dealing son Austin: ‘I would trade anyone’

Ball is truly life for Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.

In an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN on Friday, Rivers, who also serves as the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, said that he would considering trading anyone on the roster, including his son Austin.

“We’re not talking to anyone; people are talking to us — I guess I can say that,” Rivers said. “Listen, we love our team. We believe we are good enough right now. Having said that, my job is to look at this team and see if we can get better. And if we can, we’ll do it.

“Listen, I would trade anyone,” Rivers continued upon being pressed specifically about the possibility of dealing away Austin. “You have to be willing to do that … and he would be one of them. And any of them would be one. But I don’t want to trade any of our guys. I like our team.”

The heat has been turned up on the elder Rivers recently with all the talk of the Clippers pursuing a trade for disgruntled New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. The general sentiment is also that they would have to include Austin in any potential deal for Anthony.

The Clippers haven’t had the strongest track record of trades in the Rivers era. They gave away Jared Dudley and a future first-round pick to Milwaukee for nothing in 2014 and their move last trade deadline to surrender another future first for two-plus months of Jeff Green was just objectively bad. Rivers has also been reluctant to trade away certain core players in the recent past.

But this time around is different. The Clippers have their backs against the wall as this may be the last hurrah for their current nucleus. Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, and Blake Griffin can all leave after the season is over, and they simply may not have enough firepower to realistically compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors right now. As such, Rivers needs to be ready to pull the trigger if/when the right piece, somebody like an Anthony, becomes available, and it sounds like he is.

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