Rockets Sign Austin Rivers

DECEMBER 24, 11:09am: The Rockets have officially signed Rivers to a rest-of-season deal, announcing the news in a press release. 

DECEMBER 23, 1:34pm: Rivers will get back the $650K he gave to Phoenix in his buyout agreement, plus nearly $500K more from the Rockets, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Houston’s cap hit will fall between $914K and $931K, depending on when his signing becomes official. The Rockets don’t play again until Tuesday.

DECEMBER 23, 12:53pm: Former Wizards guard Austin Rivers has reached an agreement to join the Rockets, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

His contract will be fully guaranteed for the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Houston has an open roster spot, so no corresponding move will be necessary. The Rockets have part of their mid-level exception remaining, but there’s no word on whether Rivers will receive more than a veteran’s minimum contract. His new salary will cut into the $12MM still owed to him by the Suns, who waived him earlier this week.

Houston has a need for guard help with Chris Paul sidelined for at least the next two weeks with a strained hamstring. The move reunites the former Clippers teammates, who had an uneasy relationship when they were together in L.A. Sources tell Wojnarowski that Paul had no objections to signing Rivers, understanding that the team needs immediate backcourt help (Twitter link).

The agreement with the Rockets caps an eventful nine days for Rivers, who was involved in a canceled three-team trade, then was dealt to the Suns the next day. He reached a buyout agreement with Phoenix and has been looking for an opportunity with a contending team that could offer him consistent playing time. Houston qualified when Paul got injured Thursday night.

Rivers was having a productive first year in Washington after being acquired from the Clippers in an offseason trade. Used mainly in a reserve role, he posted a 7.2/2.4/2.0 line through 29 games.

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10 thoughts on “Rockets Sign Austin Rivers

    • xabial

      They say your team was never the same after Ariza left; I find it fascinating a role player can have this much of an effect on a perennial playoff team.

      wonder if they hit lightning in a bottle with Doc’s son.

    • x%sure

      Yes, and I added somewhere that Rivers can slide to the wing when Paul returns, but, nobody official is saying that. I recall that being an option for Rivers in the past, albeit apparently one not taken. Rivers could be the 5th starter, at the 3, even with Rockets at full strength.

      Statistically in his best 2 years– the previous 2 years– he played 25% at 2G. He has never had a big year though, just slow improvement to mediocrity.

      Well that’s where they found Amoute, and he worked out for them before disappearing into the bench again elsewhere.

  1. Funny how everyone said he was having an underwhelming season in Wash until he signs a new contract then it becomes a productive season

    • Z-A

      His per 36 down drastically across the board. At the salary, bad for Wash. At min money, good for Houston for what they’ll get out of him. If he was making sub 4 or 5M a year hed still he in Wash.

  2. No risk addition, but it doesn’t move the needle as to their real need, and it needs to be moved.

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