Austin Rivers Declines Player Option For 2020/21

NOVEMBER 19: As expected, Rivers is opting out of his contract and will reach the free agent market on Friday, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link).

NOVEMBER 12: Rockets guard Austin Rivers will opt out of his veteran’s minimum $2.4MM player option for the 2020/21 season and enter the 2020 free agent market, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link), Rivers fielded offers close to the $5.7MM mid-level exception last summer, but opted to re-sign with the club at a discount last summer in the hopes of competing for a title.

Rivers apparently will try not to let the fates of his All-Star teammates James Harden and Russell Westbrook, who reportedly expressed frustration with the team’s direction, impact his own decision making in free agency.

“They have their own decisions to make,” he said. “I’m a guy that wants to go places and play and help teams win. That’s all I’m about, is just competing and helping teams.”

Rivers had praise for new team head coach Stephen Silas, Berman noted in another tweet. “The most important thing, he’s a guy who knows the game of basketball and he’s been around it his whole life,” Rivers said.

Rivers, 28, averaged 8.8 PPG on .421/.356/.703 shooting in 68 games (23.4 MPG) for the Rockets in 2019/20.

In his comments today and earlier this week – when he strongly hinted he’d be opting out of the final year of his contract – Rivers stressed that he hasn’t ruled out a possible return to Houston and simply wants to consider all his options.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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41 thoughts on “Austin Rivers Declines Player Option For 2020/21

    • PhillyPhan69

      Yeah, I thought this was possible from the day we signed Doc…Not sure I would love that, but we might find out shortly.

  1. Hawk2916

    He can be the starting PG in Philly though Im not so sure he wants to play for his dad again. I’d like to see him with the Lakers as tge starter at point guard with Rondo coming off the bench

    • warson

      What?? Rivers as a starting PG??? He isn’t even a PG, let alone starter. Maybe for the Blue Coats…
      As for not wanting to play for Doc, his father saved his career, so he owes him, not sure they want him either

  2. Sports guy 2005

    Not shocking. Houston’s bad locker room chemistry is on public display right now and there are better situations out there. Philly would be a good fit next to his pops.

    • The Howler

      Philly does not have great team chemistry either so adding a father-son combo could create issues.

      • Little_Dunker_45

        Lol Hard Knocks NBa edition aka Hard Woods. Who doesnt watch? Make up some revenue, shrink the escrow %

        • goastros123

          I keep saying it: Houston’s fanbase is living rent free inside your head. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t talk about it so much.

          • harden-westbrook-mvps

            He is hoping that Rivers goes to the “sinking ship” anchored in the Bay Area. Someone has to back up oft-injured Steph Curry.

  3. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Obviously knowing he can get more than the vet minimum by opting out.

      • stubby66

        I honestly wonder if the Bucks could possibly maybe sign Rivers and Isiah Thomas to be there guards plus bring Woods back too. Then trade Bledsoe, Hill in a sign and trade for Brogdnac.

  4. charty321

    Doc isn’t the GM in Philly so he can’t overpay for Austin like he did when he signed him in LA

    • PhillyPhan69

      True..but he has enough influence that if he and his son want to connect , on a minimum contract they will find a way to get it done. It does not move the needle much one way or the other IMO, but I don’t believe it is the best fit for Coach, son or the sixers.

      • Little_Dunker_45

        It would be so poetic if he signed a contract on father’s day… very sweet to think about

  5. goastros123

    Rivers is a decent role player who can give you some some scoring off the bench. Hopefully his next team has better locker room chemistry.

  6. david-45

    if i were the rockets, i just trade the farm away. trade harden (and others like pj tucker) to the nets and get back dinwiddie, levert, allen and picks. trade westbrook to clippers in a sign and trade for Harrell and lou williams. that gives you some picks back and gets your 3/4 young players.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      The spirit of your comment is right…but they still need a star to guide the way, if you ask me

      • goastros123

        They might be able to get a stud with potential from a team that’s not going anywhere.

        • david-45

          they will have all the role players they need. if a random star signs there. then i think they could be set. back in 2011 the mavs won it all with a bunch of role players and dirk. granted that was back in 2011 but still they beat a big 3 in miami. the young thunder big 3 and kobe, bynum and gasol.

          covington, levert, allen dinwiddie etc can all get you 10-20 points per game and play solid defense.

  7. x%sure

    Everyone rush out to sign the 2 with a 35%3, PER10, on/off minus4, and no concept of his own mediocrity. If the lockerroom is an issue, let him go. Cynically, probably a HC someday.

    Sixers already have six regulars who hit 35% or better: Harris, Horford, Korkmaz, Burks, Milton, Thybulle, plus Scott & Neto if they stay, and GR3 & Richardson is close. Basically everyone but Simmons & Embiid. Hard to believe from how Sixer fans talk, but Bas.Ref says so.

  8. Warriors ?

    See there’s plenty of options for Golden State to plug in the guard spots. Rivers is no Klay Thompson, in fact who is? But the Warriors will be fine and contending for a playoff spot this year no problem.

  9. Reflect

    This article says Harden wants to stay in Houston and another recent article on HoopsRumors says he wants to go to Brooklyn.

    • Luke Adams

      That part was written on Nov 12 — a lot has happened in the last week! But I’ll take it out to avoid confusion.

  10. LA Ballez

    Rivers would be a match for the Lakers coming off the bench. He would probably sign w/ them for the Vet Min. like he did w/ Houston for a great chance to be part of World Champs as they build to repeat. I still would like to see them get someone else also like Wes Mathews.

  11. harden-westbrook-mvps

    The Rockets will likely re-sign him to a multi-year deal using part of their MLE.

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