Suns Waive Austin Rivers

DECEMBER 18: The Suns have waived Rivers, according to the team’s website. He will clear waivers on Thursday at approximately 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

DECEMBER 17: The Suns have agreed to part ways with veteran point guard Austin Rivers, whom the team acquired in the Trevor Ariza deal, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Rivers, 26, is making $12.6MM this season in the final year of a four-year pact he inked with the Clippers in 2016. Los Angeles traded Rivers to the Wizards in the summer in exchange for Marcin Gortat. Per Wojnarowski, both sides agreed that Rivers fits better on an older team contending for the postseason. If and when Rivers clears waivers, he will be eligible to sign with any team except for Washington.

Earlier today, we relayed Suns’ head coach Igor Kokoskov expressing excitement at Phoenix utilizing Oubre and Rivers.

“We need somebody who’s gonna help us with maintaining,” he said.  “A lot of games, we can’t go through the 48 minutes…We’re gonna find their roles. We definitely can use the talent and experience they have.” 

In 29 games this season, Rivers is averaging 7.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG and 2.0 APG. Those totals are down from the previous two seasons when the California native was a starter for the Clippers. Last season, he set a career-high 15.1 PPG and 4.0 APG in 61 games (59 starts).

Still, Rivers has significant postseason experience and could be a helpful piece to a team that needs scoring off the bench.

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39 thoughts on “Suns Waive Austin Rivers

    • GuruGray

      I wouldn’t mind it if they sign him for the minimum. I want them to save their room MLE for someone better

      • myaccount

        Isn’t that all it should take for anyone? PHX owes him his salary now, no? (Serious question, no condescension).

        • Z-A

          I believe it would only count as the minimum. Being that he’s straight up waived versus buyout. Typically if a guy gets a BO he’s left some money on the table and players try to recoup that money via MLE.

  1. Johnny h

    Gonna be a nice pickup for someone. People like to take the piss out of Austin but he’s developed into a solid little nba player.

    • elcarim_23

      Right?!?! I was thinking the same thing. I mean he is no star but he can contribute and have a solid role for a lot of teams.

  2. Amazing. They need guard help. They get it. Then let him go. I hope they are confident enough they will get Rozier.

  3. bravesfan88

    It’ll probably either end up being San Antonio, Philly, Lakers, or possibly maybe some of the suprise contenders like a Denver…

    • JamesW26

      Denver would be a surprise. Murray, Morris, and eventually IT at the point, and Beasley holding down the 2 until Harris gets healthy. Barton is back in the next couple of weeks, too. Any need for Rivers would be extremely temporary, but they’ve already added Nick Young, so I guess anything is possible.

      • bravesfan88

        Good points, I forgot about IT honestly, and yeah, they just added Nick Young, so he’s clearly not a fit for Denver..

        Maybe Memphis?? Idk…

  4. Can’t play dead. His Dad saved his career and Wiz just looked at him as an expiring deal.

    • Johnny h

      Not true at all. Developed into a nice little player these last few years.

      • If nice little player = guy who’s a poor defender (sometimes over matched, always uninterested), ball stopper, at the bottom of the league in RPM and TS% for his position (generally too), and a pathetic FT shooter (esp for a guard that wants the ball in his hands at the end of the game).

  5. cakirby

    I think it would be hilarious if the Lakers signed him after the owner of the Suns didn’t want to help them anymore.

  6. x%sure

    The story of the Ariza trade gets stranger and stranger.
    Oubre and salary-swallowing was their best offer for Ariza? I really doubt it. Maybe they forgot they never liked Rivers?
    And Oubre does not play the position they needed while Rivers does.

    The Suns have Josh J listed as a 2 and play him there for half his minutes, even though he can’t shoot and is a turnover machine. But now there will be even fewer minutes for him at the 3.

    Well these moves are good for the tank, or a laugh.

    • Ironmonger835

      What were you expecting for Ariza? He’s not that good. 33 year old marginal role player.

      • x%sure

        For one, a 1. They need a PG. Raul Neto would be more help than Oubre.
        Also, one wants to avoid paying 12 mil for nothing, if I am getting that part right.

        • But what team, with the need for a player like Ariza, was going to offer a young and promising point guard? Yeah Raul Neto would help more than Oubre, but that doesn’t mean the Suns should trade a potentially useful (to a playoff team) wing for some random point guard just because it fills a need. For example, say the Suns traded Ariza to the Pistons for Jose Calderon…what would be your reaction? To laugh at the Suns, and reasonably so, but it fills their need at PG right?

          I doubt teams were lining up to offer a first round pick for Ariza, so the next best potential offer would be for some young player. Does Oubre have a clear fit on the Suns roster? No but he was likely the most valuable asset being offered in any deal.

          • x%sure

            Sir. Jose Calderon at PG would threaten the tank!

            And maybe the tank is what this comes down to. No court general, no chance of winning too much.

          • x%sure

            NBC reports the Suns will owe about $8mil to Rivers.

            Oubre will be RFA, coming off an $3.2mil salary with minus numbers so far. He might mesh better with Booker than with Wall though.

  7. What makes him think he should be on a contender? He’s young, hasn’t won anything and hasn’t even cemented any kind of reputation around the league about his play, other than being a Chris Paul type irritant, and that’s mostly while on the bench.
    Buyout arrangements for someone like Tyson Chandler I understand, but they NEED a point guard. Bizarre

  8. goldenmisfit

    This is why Phoenix is a joke of a franchise. They were just dead set against trading Ariza to the Lakers so they added rivers in the deal to match salaries with all intentions they were going to release him. But, they wonder why they are the worst team in the NBA and have not been to the playoffs in nearly a decade.

  9. Z-A

    Daddy got him paid. But he is a solid reserve player. I see some “Sixers” talk here, sure depth. But he isn’t an upgrade over TJ McConnell. The only area that he is better is ball control. TJ outperforms him in Assists, Rebounds, Steals, Defensive and Offensive Ratings. And you could say “Rivers is a better scorer” well no he requires more shots to get his points, he’s a worse shooter % wise and 10% worse from the charity stripe.

    All that being said, for the min – yea I’d take him. You can send Shake back to the G-League, take the 5-6 minutes he was playing and divide 20-30 minutes between Rivers and TJ. They are both smart basketball players – both sons of coaches. But both equally flawed one way or another even with TJ shooting better from 3.

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