Austin Rivers signs with Rockets

 

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The Houston Rockets have signed free agent guard Austin Rivers for the remainder of the season.

Originally drafted 10th overall by New Orleans in the 2012 NBA Draft, the 6-4, 200 Rivers played one season at Duke.

Rivers, now in his 7th NBA season, has played in 437 games (132 starts), averaging 9.3 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game.

Last season, as a Clipper, Rivers averaged career highs of 15.1 points, 4.0 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.21 steals. He also averaged a career-best 2.2 3-pointers made on 37.8% shooting.

The 26-year-old started this season with Washington prior to being traded to the Suns on Dec. 17.

The Rockets are 17-15 this season and host the OKC Thunder tomorrow.

Wizards trade Kelly Oubre, Austin Rivers to Suns for Trevor Ariza

The Phoenix Suns completed a trade with the Washington Wizards today, acquiring forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (pronounced OOH-bray) and guard Austin Rivers in exchange for forward Trevor Ariza.

“Trevor has been one of the most effective, efficient and versatile players at his position for over a decade,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “We are obviously very familiar with the leadership and experience he brings as one of the league’s most respected professionals and look forward to welcoming him back to the team.”

Ariza (6-8, 215) returns to Washington for a second stint with the Wizards. He averaged 12.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting .393 from three-point range with the team from 2012-2014, helping the team advance to the second round of the playoffs in 2013-14. The 15-year veteran has averaged 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting .353 from three-point range in 968 career games (667 starts) over 15 seasons with Phoenix, Houston, Washington, New Orleans, the L.A. Lakers, Orlando and New York. He has averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 26 games (all starts) with the Suns this season.

Over the past 10 seasons (entering the 2018-19 season), Ariza had 1,304 three-pointers and 30.5 defensive win shares (estimate of number of wins contributed by a player due to his defense), joining LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the only players to post those numbers. He has also averaged at least 2.0 three-pointers and 1.5 steals in each of the past five seasons (coming into the 2018-19 season), joining Stephen Curry and James Harden as the only players to do so. Dating back to 2008-09, Ariza has the third-most steals (1,245) in the NBA behind only Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook and he joins Harden and Westbrook as the only players with at least 4,000 points, 2,000 rebounds, 800 assists and 600 steals since 2013.

Ariza brings extensive playoff experience to the Wizards, averaging 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting .367 from three-point range in 102 postseason contests (90 starts). He helped lead the Lakers to the 2009 NBA championship, averaging 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting .476 from three-point range in 23 games (all starts) and helped lead the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals in both 2015 and 2018, starting all 34 games in those combined playoff runs.

Oubre, a 6-7, 205-pound forward, is in his fourth NBA season and posting career highs by scoring 12.9 points per game and shooting 43.3 percent from the field this season. He has played particularly well of late, scoring at least 20 points in three of his last six games and averaging 17.7 points (51.4 FG%, 40.7 3FG%, 79.2 FT%) over this six-game stretch. Oubre scored a season-high 23 points last Monday at Indiana then scored 20 last Wednesday vs. Boston, giving him consecutive 20-point games for the first time in his career.

For his career, the 23-year-old has averaged 8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 252 games (32 starts) all with the Wizards. He has also appeared in 18 career playoff games, averaging 7.0 points in 18.4 minutes. Over the last two seasons, Oubre is averaging 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 three-pointers and 1.0 steals while shooting 81.4 percent from the free throw line in 110 games.

The left-hander was initially the 15th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft by Atlanta before being traded to Washington on draft night. He played one season at the University of Kansas and was named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team after averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds while helping the Jayhawks to a Big 12 regular season title. A native of New Orleans, prior to the Wizards’ games at the Pelicans in each of the past two seasons Oubre has presented 10 high school students from the New Orleans area with scholarships.

“We commend Kelly on the growth and development he showed within our system to become a solid rotation player as well as the work he did in the D.C. community during his time as a Wizard,” said Grunfeld. “We also appreciate Austin’s contributions during his brief time with us and wish them both the best as they continue their careers.”

Rivers, a 6-4, 200-pound guard, is in his seventh NBA season and averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 29 games with the Wizards this season. For his career, the 26-year-old has averaged 9.3 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 437 games (132 starts) with the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, Clippers and Wizards. Initially the 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by New Orleans, Rivers played one season at Duke University where he averaged 15.5 points.

On new Wizards guard Austin Rivers

Here’s NBC Sports Washington on new Wizards guard Austin Rivers, who should certainly improve the team’s backcourt as he likely comes off the bench behind starters John Wall and Bradley Beal:

Rivers, though far from perfect, is potentially a significant upgrade for the Wizards at backup shooting guard and that help is coming at a good time. All-Star Bradley Beal played in all 82 games last season, but that was arguably not a good thing, as he ended up logging the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player and seemed to run out of gas at times late in the season.

Rivers should at the very least be able to take some of the workload off of Beal’s shoulders. Rivers could also help solve the Wizards’ issues at backup point guard behind John Wall and possibly even play some in three-guard lineups with both Beal and Wall on the floor.

Rivers’ likely role is clear. The question is how he will adjust to it given what he has grown accustomed to in recent years in L.A. and given he will be in a contract year. Rivers started 59 games last season for the Clippers and averaged 13.2 field goal attempts per night. Barring injuries, he will not get those opportunities in Washington.

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Wizards trade Marcin Gortat to Clippers for Austin Rivers

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has acquired guard Austin Rivers from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for center Marcin Gortat.

“Acquiring Austin gives us another versatile, experienced player who provides scoring and playmaking,” said Grunfeld. “He is coming off a career year and his ability to create offense for himself and others will help our second unit and allow us to play a variety of lineups throughout the season.”

“We are excited to welcome Marcin Gortat to the Clippers, a respected player that brings years of NBA experience and additional toughness to this team. We’ve been a fan of Marcin’s for some time and this decision will help rebalance the roster by adding another proven big man to the front court,” said Lawrence Frank, Clippers’ President of Basketball Operations. “Austin’s development as a player is a testament to his work ethic and desire to improve. We experienced a lot of success with Austin and are grateful for his contributions during his four seasons with the club. The Clippers wish Brittany and Austin all the best in Washington.”

Rivers (6-5, 200) averaged career highs of 15.1 points, 4.0 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals this season while shooting a career-high .378 (136-360) from three-point range in 61 games (59 starts). The 25-year-old guard posted 12 games of 20+ points, three games of 30+ points and set a new career high with 38 points at Memphis on Dec. 22 (one night after scoring 36 at Houston).

He holds career averages of 9.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 408 career games (130 starts) while shooting .355 from three-point range in five seasons with the Clippers and New Orleans. The 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Rivers has appeared in 23 career playoff games (six starts), all with the Clippers. He entered the NBA after one season at Duke, where he earned First Team All-ACC honors.

Gortat, who was originally acquired prior to the 2013-14 season, posted 11.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting .555 from the field in 402 (out of a possible 410) games over his five seasons in Washington. The team posted an .543 (223-187) overall record and made four playoff appearances during his tenure.

“We appreciate Marcin’s contributions during his time with us and wish him the best moving forward,” said Grunfeld. “He is a very durable professional who helped the team in many ways to become a perennial playoff contender and set an example with his work in the community both in D.C. and in his native country of Poland.”

Austin Rivers suffers hand fracture

Austin Rivers suffers hand fracture

The L.A. Clippers announced today that guard Austin Rivers suffered a left hand fracture in the second quarter of the Clippers loss to Minnesota on Feb. 3. Rivers did not play in the Clippers game Feb. 5 in Orlando and underwent an MRI Feb. 6 in Miami that revealed the fracture.

Rivers will be re-evaluated in Los Angeles on Monday and a timetable for his return will be established at that time.

This season, Rivers has appeared in 46 games (5 starts) and is averaging a career-high 8.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 21.6 minutes per game.