HoopsHype Austin Rivers rumors

June 28, 2012 Updates

The Boston Celtics are making an 11th-hour push to put themselves in position to draft Duke star Austin Rivers, son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, according to sources with knowledge of Boston's plans. But sources briefed on the matter describe the Celtics as pessimistic that they can acquire a draft pick high enough to land Rivers in Thursday night's draft. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge long has maintained privately that Rivers is one of the 10 biggest talents in this draft class and has no problems drafting the younger Rivers to play under his father, sources say. ESPN.com

The Celtics' dilemma is whether they can muster the trade assets needed to acquire a pick high enough in the lottery to get in Rivers' range. Sources say Boston would be willing to part with both their Nos. 21 and 22 picks, but it's believed that teams in the top 10 want more than that. And the Celtics, sources say, are struggling to offer more because they refuse to include promising guard Avery Bradley in draft-night trade talks and lack other assets to sweeten the pot. The Celtics haven't totally given up on moving up in the draft, however. Sources say they are trying to package Nos. 21 and 22 to move into the mid-first round instead. ESPN.com

ESPN’s Chad Ford had doubts, but Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski called up Ford to defend Rivers. “He is an alpha dog. I think he will succeed in the NBA because of that,” Krzyzewski said. “He believes he’s going to be great. I’d rather have a guy like that than a guy who doesn’t believe in himself.” Valid point. It’s a question of can the hubris be reined in a little. Coach K thinks this is a coach’s son who will adapt to what is best for the team. Coach K called Rivers “very coachable.” “When Austin came to Duke, I told him that every player is like a house: The more skills you learn, the more windows you have on your house. When he came to Duke, he had one really big window. He was an amazing scorer. The goal was to add more windows to his game. He’s in that process right now. “I hope he gets a demanding coach at the next level who pushes him to keep adding to his game. That’s how he’ll become great. If he reverts back to just doing the thing he does well, his chances lessen that he’s a good player in the NBA.” NBCSports.com

Family has to take priority. It does for Doc Rivers, who is not going to be in the Celtics draft war room during the NBA Draft Thursday night, he’s going to be hanging with his lottery pick son Austin. That’s what Celtics GM Danny Ainge told the AP. “(Rivers is heading to New York with Austin,” general manager Danny Ainge said Wednesday, “which is where he should be…. “He’s in a happy place,” Ainge said at the team’s workout facility. “He’s loose and laid back and playing golf.” NBCSports.com

Chris Broussard: Ignore talk of Austin Rivers having attitude problem. A top NBA coach said his interview with Rivers in Chicago was 1 of best he's ever had Twitter

June 27, 2012 Updates

If the Warriors keep the pick, they are likely looking at three options: Syracuse shooting guard Dion Waiters, Weber State point guard Damian Lillard of Oakland or Connecticut center Andre Drummond. Waiters is no doubt high on the Warriors' list. The way his stock has risen, he likely won't fall outside of the top 10. But Golden State goes the shooting guard route, another name that could give them something to think about: Austin Rivers, a Duke freshman. San Jose Mercury-News

June 26, 2012 Updates

Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger told me Monday night he won’t be working out for the Bucks before the draft. A close friend of Duke guard Austin Rivers also told me Monday that Rivers won’t be coming to Milwaukee , either. Racine Journal-Times

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