NBA Rumor: Austin Rivers Free Agency

89 rumors in this storyline

More Rumors in this Storyline

Mark Berman: .@AustinRivers25, who’ll decline his player option with the #Rockets & explore free agency, says he can’t let whatever’s going on with James Harden & Russell Westbrook impact what’s next for him: “They have their own decisions they have to make.Russ wants to do what’s best for him and his family and I’m sure James does too. What they decide is what they decide. That has nothing to do with me. I can’t control if either of them get traded or they don’t get traded. That’s just not my place. There’s so much going on right now in the NBA and it’s going to happen so fast. The Draft is the 18th, then the 20th they have this and then the 22nd. It’s right after each other, boom, boom, boom and then camp’s three weeks later, four weeks later. All I know is they’re gonna make the best decision..”

Mark Berman: Guard @AustinRivers25, who’s declining his player option with the #Rockets and exploring free agency, likes the hire of new head coach Stephen Silas: “Listen, I love Mike (D’Antoni). Once Mike left then that’s over with. Then they bring in a guy that I think everybody likes…” “…That’s a good thing. He’s been around the game. Obviously, he’s a whole different person than I am, just like everyone’s different, but his background, he’s cut from a similar cloth like what I am. That’s pretty cool. The most important thing, he’s a guy who knows the game of basketball and he’s been around it his whole life. He’s gonna do a good job. I think that’s what most people are drawn to and excited for.”

I do not. It would be shocking if Rivers could not get a fully guaranteed minimum contract on a competitive team on the open market so he might as well get more control by opting out. Also, the Rockets have Early Bird rights on Rivers, meaning they can pay him up to about $10 million without having to use another exception like the MLE. While that is more than the 27-year old will get as a free agent, it does give him some leverage in negotiations since the Rockets can sign him without diminishing their ability to bring in new talent. Furthermore, as the question alluded to, Houston does not have many capable replacements for his 23 minutes per game on roster, especially for the times when someone in the rotation is injured.

Jonathan Feigen: If the Rockets can land a bargain at that price it could be a significant move, but failing that, they could dip into that to try to bring back Austin Rivers, who became their sixth man. There are holes to fill, however. The Rockets really did not have a backup power forward and were very thin and inexperienced at small forward, relying on Danuel House Jr. and three-guard lineups. They also might need to bolster their options at center, with Nenê generally limited to half the season, Kenneth Faried a free agent and Isaiah Hartenstein, though progressing, still a project. They also can make some strides in their level of play, particularly for Capela who disappointed against the Warriors.

“So in this process, it was now president vs. player, so it was different,” Austin said. “And he told me and I told him, it’s a business, man. The fact is if Durant would have signed there, then me and Jamal would have been somewhere else. It’s just strictly a business [move]. At the end of the day, you’re trying to win. So we understood that. It came down to I wasn’t going to wait that much longer. Jamal’s sitting here trying to figure something out. It’s a stressful process … I wanted to be back here, and that’s why I decided to come back.”

If the Clippers are unable to get Durant to agree to join the team, a move that would then trigger a flurry of other moves, they’ll turn their attention to their other top priority – re-signing their own free agents. With most of their salary cap – more than $70 million of it – going to Paul, Griffin, Jordan and Redick – the Clippers hope to keep their top three free agents – Jeff Green, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. The Clippers have “Bird rights” for Green and Crawford and “early Bird rights” for Rivers, enabling them to go over the salary cap to re-sign those players. The team also has interest in re-signing reserves Cole Aldrich and Wesley Johnson, though the fear is both players will be out of the Clippers’ price range once they hit the market. The Clippers will still meet with Aldrich, though. And just because the Clippers have the ability to pay Green, Crawford and Rivers, there are no guarantees they’re able to secure all three.

Austin has a player option next season, and he said everything’s happened so fast from a year ago when he was a free agent. There wasn’t much demand then, when he returned to the Clippers. “Now, it’s obviously a whole different story and a whole different situation,” Austin said. “I’m taking it day by day. I love my teammates here, I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here, how to be a man, how to be a player, just how to be a professional, how to work at it, how to be a leader. “We’ll see. This is a new situation for me.”

Free-agent guard Austin Rivers has reached agreement on a two-year, $6.4 million contract to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The second year of the contract is a player option, sources said. Because New Orleans had previously declined Rivers’ fourth-year option, the most the Clippers could pay him is what his 2015-16 salary would have been if the option had been exercised.
More HoopsHype Rumors
May 15, 2021 | 5:15 pm EDT Update