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Friday, October 18, 2019

Articles tagged: Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers re-signing with Clippers on three-year deal

Austin Rivers

The Rivers family dinners live to see another day!

According to a report by Dan Woike of the Orange County Register on Saturday, Austin Rivers has reached an agreement to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers on a three-year deal.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical adds that the deal is worth $35 million-plus and includes a player option for the third year.

Rivers, 23, averaged 8.9 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game, and 1.5 assists per game for the Clippers in 2015-16. He was acquired by his father Doc, head coach and general manager of the Clippers in early 2015, leading to widespread punchlines of nepotism and preferential treatment. But Austin slowly earned his keep on the team through hard work, hustle, and an emphasis on perimeter defense, settling into a role as a key contributor for the Clippers’ second unit.

The former No. 10 overall pick declined his $3.3 million option for 2016-17 and appears to have been rewarded handsomely for the decision.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders also notes that, on top of the Rivers agreement, the Clippers made an offer Saturday to retain reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford as well, which likely takes them out of the running for Kevin Durant.

Austin Rivers to decline option, become free agent

Austin Rivers

“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.

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.

Austin Rivers bloody after nasty elbow to head (Video)

Austin Rivers cuts

Austin Rivers was down with a nasty cut around his eye after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head during Game 6 of the Clippers’ series with the Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Rivers was going after a rebound when Al Farouq-Aminu caught him with an elbow around the eye:

Rivers received a total of 11 stitches for cuts above and below his eye. According to ESPN’s Lisa Salters, he was not tested for a concussion nor did he receive X-rays. He later returned in the middle of the second quarter.

Austin Rivers: Clippers move ball better without Blake Griffin

blake-griffin-2015-16

Austin Rivers does not believe the Los Angeles Clippers are better without Blake Griffin, but he does think the team moves the ball better without the big man.

Rivers joined “Steve Gorman Sports” on FOX Sports Radio Friday and talked about playing without Griffin, who is out healing from a broken hand suffered punching a team employee. Rivers called Griffin the team’s “best player” but said they learned to move the ball better without him.

“You’ve got to understand, because we haven’t played with Blake, our ball movement has been a lot better,” Rivers said. “I think we learned a mutual thing where it’s like ‘alright, listen Blake, since you’ve been out, we’ve learned to move the ball better, so when you come back, we’re still going to play like that. But now we have you back, we’re still going to play through you at the same time.’ So I think we’ve both have learned things.

“There’s times when it’s obvious we need Blake, so I think it’s a learning experience for both of us. There’s no way we could be worse with Blake Griffin back on our team. It’s not possible. He’s one of the best players in the NBA, so we can’t wait to have him back.”

Griffin has been out since a Christmas Day win over the Lakers. The team immediately won another nine games in a row. They had another stretch in late January-early February where they won seven of eight.

Despite the winning, Doc Rivers said a month ago that the thought the Clippers are better without Griffin is crazy:

Austin can call Blake the best player on the team and Doc can say it’s nuts to think the Clippers are better without Griffin, but their actions suggest otherwise. If they love Griffin so much, why have there been so many rumors about them trading him?

Clippers replace Josh Smith with Austin Rivers on Staples Center banner

clippers-austin-rivers-banner

The Los Angeles Clippers are trying their hardest to forget Josh Smith as if he were Sarah Marshall. The first step? Cleansing Staples Center of any and all Smoove likenesses.

Friday night’s “home” game against the Lakers brought along with it a noticeably different sight up in the rafters: a banner that had once featured an image of Smith officially being replaced by one of guard Austin Rivers.

Here is a look at the updated banner, per Arash Markazi of ESPN:

Smith’s unspectacular Clippers’ career came to an end last week when he was traded back to the Houston Rockets. The former Slam Dunk Contest champion managed averages of just 5.7 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, and 1.5 assists per game in 14.3 minutes per game in Lob City. Smith’s time in L.A. will probably be remembered more for an ugly argument with an assistant coach and a lot of time spent in head coach Doc Rivers’ doghouse than anything.

As for Austin, let’s hope that he looks a little less confused on the court than he does in his new banner image.

Austin Rivers fined $25K for throwing seat cushion at fan

Austin Rivers

Clippers guard Austin Rivers had a less-than-spectacular season debut against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. His final stat line? Three points, two rebounds, one assist, and one fan in the stands hit by a seat cushion.

The 23-year-old was slapped with a fine of $25,000 for throwing a seat cushion into the stands that struck a woman in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 111-104 victory at the Sleep Train Arena, the NBA announced on Thursday per Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports.

Amick also reports that the woman who was hit was sitting in the second row and that she was experiencing noticeable discomfort in her eyes for quite some time after the incident.

As Austin, the son of Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, looks to assert himself this season on a revamped Clippers bench, incidents like this will do his public image no favors, especially as the coach’s son, a Duke product, and a recent declaree that he’s “better than a lot of those dudes” playing on Team USA.

At least the hefty fine means that Doc won’t have to take away his allowance.

H/T Real GM

Austin Rivers: I’m ‘better than a lot of those dudes’ on Team USA

Austin Rivers

As he looks to play a key role off the bench for a loaded Los Angeles Clippers team next season, one thing guard Austin Rivers cannot be lacking in is confidence. Well, it certainly looks like he’s all checked out in that respect.

After watching Thursday night’s Team USA scrimmage, Rivers puffed out his chest on social media Friday morning declaring himself to be better than a lot of the players that participated in the Blue vs. White showcase.

After a solid amount of backlash to the tweet, the 23-year-old attempted to clarify his words.

Nevertheless, the point had been made: Austin James Rivers (with his career average of 7.0 points per game) really thinks that he’s more deserving of a roster spot than some of the guys on Team USA Basketball this summer.

While I admire the competitive fire and Most Improved Player ambitions of Doc’s son, he simply has no argument right now. Austin is a sub-40 percent shooter for his career (including less than 33 percent from deep) and the Clippers were actually 13.8 points BETTER per 100 possessions last season when Rivers sat on the bench as opposed to when he was on the court. With all of the deserving names that were left off the roster because of the sheer volume of talent in the NBA right now (here’s one prime example), I’m not even sure Rivers would merit an invite if there were 100 of them to go around instead of 34.

Perhaps Austin may have been referring to the 11th hour fill-ins that were chosen to play in the game like Amir Johnson, Arron Afflalo, and C.J. Watson. And just maybe, we might be able to talk ourselves into a legitimate rationalization for the merits of Rivers over end-of-bench ragamuffins like Mason Plumlee and Michael Carter-Williams. Heck, maybe this is all just Rivers venting his frustrations at Plumlee beating him out as the Coach K/Duke nepotism selection.

But for now, the discrepancy between the talent on Team USA…

…and Austin Rivers…

…is fairly considerable.

You’re not quite there yet, Mr. Rivers. Not quite yet.

*Stats courtesy of NBA.com*