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.
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