Austin Rivers is dispelling the notion of an awkward reunion between him and Chris Paul in Houston.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, the newly-signed Rockets guard said that he had no issues with Paul and that the two worked out together over the summer, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Austin Rivers said if he and Chris Paul had issues with one another he wouldn't be here. Said they worked out together this off season.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 24, 2018
Rivers, who was teammates with Paul on the LA Clippers for three seasons from 2015 to 2017, will provide extra backcourt depth for the Rockets with Paul currently looking at a multi-week absence due to a hamstring strain.
As for the past history between the two, the Clippers of that era were infamous for their dysfunctional locker room environment, and Paul’s exit from LA two summers ago led to some reports that he resented Rivers, among others. Rivers was quick to clear the air over those reports however, and it sounds like the two have long resolved whatever tensions they may have had in the past.
Austin Rivers appears to have found a new home after a tumultuous week.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Rockets have agreed to sign Rivers after he was waived by the Phoenix Suns.
Rockets reach agreement to sign guard Austin Rivers, source said.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 23, 2018
That deal is fully guaranteed, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Rivers’ deal with Rockets is guaranteed for the season, per source.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2018
Houston’s move was likely spurred by the absence of Chris Paul, who is likely out for 2-to-4 weeks. Rivers will be a valuable fill-in with some experience for a Houston team that has not performed up to expectations. Ironically, he’ll be filling in for a player that rumor has it he did not get on well with when the pair were together on the Los Angeles Clippers.
Rivers, formerly of the Washington Wizards, was traded to Phoenix last week and immediately waived. Now he lands on his feet with a team that views itself as a contender.
Austin Rivers is expected to have a very brief stay in Phoenix after he was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Suns on Saturday as part of a deal involving Kelly Oubre and Trevor Ariza, and it sounds like there are a number of teams that would like to add the veteran guard.
Shams Charania of The Athletic initially reported on Tuesday that the Memphis Grizzlies are expected to sign Rivers once the Suns cut ties with him, but it turns out they could have plenty of competition from other clubs.
Four to five other teams are still expressing interest in Rivers, sources said. No formal offer yet from Memphis, with several days until Rivers clears waivers. https://t.co/RUkLDrVqJF
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 18, 2018
Rivers is set to make $12.6 million in the last season of his contract this year, and it is unlikely that any team will want to pay him the remaining portion of that salary. The 26-year-old is averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 23.6 minutes per game this season.
The Grizzlies were initially reported to be part of a three-team trade with the Suns and Wizards that involved Rivers, but they ended up backing out over confusion about which players they were supposed to include. It will be interesting to see if they end up with Rivers when everything is sorted out.
Austin Rivers will have a very brief stop in Phoenix after he was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Suns on Saturday as part of a deal involving Kelly Oubre and Trevor Ariza, and the veteran guard may have already found his next home.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Rivers has agreed to sign a contract with the Memphis Grizzlies when his buyout with the Suns is complete.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 18, 2018
Rivers was set to make $12.6 million in the last season of his contract this year, and it’s unclear how much Phoenix agreed to buy him out for. The Grizzlies will be the third team the 26-year-old has played for in the past year.
Rivers is averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 23.6 minutes per game this season.
Austin Rivers’ career with the Phoenix Suns will be non-existent.
Rivers was traded to the Suns by the Washington Wizards as part of a trade Saturday that also involved Kelly Oubre and Trevor Ariza. Rivers and Oubre have yet to suit up for Phoenix, and Rivers won’t at all.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Suns will waive Rivers.
After trade with Wizards, Suns agree to part ways with G Austin Rivers, per ESPN sources. Rivers – earning $12.6M in final year of deal – becomes a free agent upon clearing waivers. As a veteran, sides concluded Rivers fits better on an older team that's pursuing playoffs.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 18, 2018
Rivers is making $12.6 million this season, which is the last of his contract. If he clears waivers, he’ll be a free agent and able to sign with any team.
The 26-year-old is averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 23.6 minutes per game this season.
- Austin Rivers
The Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns are nearing completion on a 3-way trade that would send Trevor Ariza to Washington, according to a report.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday night that Ariza would go to the Wizards, while Phoenix would get Austin Rivers, MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden as part of the deal. Washington would send Kelly Oubre to Memphis.
As part of a three-team deal nearing completion: Ariza to the Wizards, Kelly Oubre to the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers and two Grizzlies role players to Suns, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/1EmRCHrjOP
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018
A trade of Ariza has been anticipated all week. He signed with Phoenix for $15 million in the offseason but has not played well for them, and multiple teams were said to be interested in acquiring him.
Rivers is making $12.65 million this season and will be a free agent after the year. Oubre is making $3.2 million this season and set to make $4.4 million next season with his qualifying offer. He is still on his rookie contract. Oubre is averaging 13 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
This would mark the second time Rivers has been traded in six months. He was dealt by the Clippers to the Wizards in June.
Things have not been going well for the 11-18 Wizards this season, so they’re hoping this roster shakeup could lead to some positive results.
Austin Rivers was traded to the Washington Wizards by his own father’s team on Tuesday, and if he’s bitter about the move he is not showing it.
Following the trade that sent him to Washington in exchange for veteran big man Marcin Gortat, Rivers thanked the Clippers organization, his teammates and the fans for their support over the last four seasons. He also wrote about how much it meant to play for his father, Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
Wow, I really don’t know where to start or how to put all of my emotions and feelings into words . But I’ll just start out by saying Thank You, first and foremost to the city of LA and to the fans of the LA Clippers. You have done nothing but show me love and positivity. The acceptance you gave me along with taking a chance on me 4 years ago, means the world to me! At that time I hadn’t shown much in the league….and was still trying to learn . And for you all to accept me and give me a chance to grow and play means more than you will ever know. People really don’t understand what positivity can do for someone’s confidence. And to the clippers fan base…. I really appreciate you all helping me find my confidence in the league and cheering me along the way. I know the scenario of me playing for my pops wasn’t easy for people to understand and accept ….some never will, but to the ones who did… I can’t thank you enough. Me and pops did something that has never been done in our sport!! Which was hard for a lot of people to understand but I am grateful for the time I experienced playing for him and the clippers. I want to thank all of my team mates aka my brothers. I Really appreciate y’all helping me grow as a player and a person! I also want to thank all of the coaches and all of the staff of the clippers organization! A lot of you don’t get the credit you deserve! From the great training staff, to all the people that make our job and life that much easier, I really am thankful!! Always will love LA and consider it a home! Thanks -AR25 M.o.a.M
A post shared by Austin Rivers (@austinjrivers) on
“I know the scenario of me playing for my pops wasn’t easy for people to understand and accept ….some never will, but to the ones who did… I can’t thank you enough,” Rivers said. “Me and pops did something that has never been done in our sport!! Which was hard for a lot of people to understand but I am grateful for the time I experienced playing for him and the clippers.”
Rivers saw his role increase over the past four seasons, and he averaged a career-high 15.1 points per game last season while starting 59 games. It’s no coincidence that the Clippers finally decided to trade him after Jerry West joined the team’s front office, as Doc was the primary decision maker on roster moves prior to that.
Folks on Twitter got a kick out of the Clippers shipping Doc’s son out of town, but Kudos to Austin for handling it with class.