The Clippers and Austin Rivers are in “strong discussions” as they negotiate terms on a would-be new contract, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter), and the Clippers expect they’ll reach a deal, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link). It would likely be a short-term arrangement so that Rivers could hit free agency again soon, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders hears (Twitter link). Teams have offered him multiyear contracts, but he feels as though he can help improve his stock if he stays with the Clippers just a while longer, Kennedy adds (on Twitter).
It’s no surprise to see Rivers draw close to a deal with the Clippers, and in part because his father is Doc Rivers, the team’s president of basketball operations and coach. Doc made it clear this spring that he wanted to re-sign his son, though Austin reportedly intended to explore his options in unrestricted free agency.
Rivers can’t receive $3,110,796 this coming season from the Clippers. That’s because the Pelicans declined the fourth-year option on his rookie scale contract before this past season, so whichever team wound up with him at season’s end would be limited to no more than the amount of that option. That holds for the Clippers even though they had nothing to do with declining the option. Other teams can pay him more, though it’s unclear if he could command that much. The Clippers may well be wary of paying even as much as that $3MM-plus figure, since they’re already poised to exceed the $84.74MM tax line.