Austin Rivers has been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers: the team run and coached by his father, Doc Rivers. In a three-team NBA trade between the Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Doc Rivers's former team the Boston Celtics - who he won the 2008 NBA championship with - son Austin will join his dad in California, while swingman Reggie Bullock will head to Phoenix, while Shavlick Randolph and combo guard/forward and dread pirate Chris Douglas-Roberts are off to Beantown. It will be the first time in NBA history a father will coach his son. But... the problem is, the Clippers need help on the wing, and just got rid of a wing player to get the not-very-good son of the team's coach and GM instead. Yikes.
Playing for his dad might present some unusual sideline assignments for Austin Rivers... pic.twitter.com/VRf0b3se30
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 15, 2015
So. Who thinks this is a great idea?
Phoenix's Shavlik Randolph has been traded to Boston, with Reggie Bullock to Phoenix, Austin Rivers to Clippers, league sources tell RealGM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 15, 2015
As ESPN's Marc Stein reports, Austin will be "the first son to play for his father" once he takes the floor with the CLips. "Coby Karl," says Stein, "was briefly a member of the Nuggets in 2010 under father George Karl, but Coby did not play for Denver during that stint," which also happened while his father was away from the team recovering from throat cancer.
But Austin Rivers, I'm told, never reported to Celtics after deal because Boston pledged to get him to Clippers. And that remains the plan
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 15, 2015
But... why do it?
As NBC Pro Basketball Talk's Sean Highkin says, "this trade only underscores how much of a disaster Doc Rivers' tenure as GM has been."
The problem, as Highkin says, that to get Austin, the Clippers "gave up two wings, their biggest position of need," in order "to trade for his son, who doesn't fill a need for them at all."
Highkin adds that the move is "just the latest in a line of catastrophic moves Rivers has made, most notably hard-capping the team with the signing of Spencer Hawes, who's been awful."
Added CBS Sports' Zach Harper:
The Clippers really need a small forward that can be a 3-and-D guy. Naturally, Doc is trading Reggie Bullock for Austin Rivers.
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) January 15, 2015
Which was echoed by his CBS compadre, Matt Moore:
They gave UP a wing. They gave UP a wing to get Austin. Rivers.
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) January 15, 2015
Even Grantland's usually cautiously optimistic Zach Lowe is confused:
I don't really understand what the Clippers are doing. That is a lot of noise to get Austin Rivers.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) January 15, 2015
But the big takeaway for the Clips?
For those keeping score: LAC gave up Dudley, Bullock, a 2017 1st, a 2017 2nd, CDR, Farmar (BAE, waived) for cap relief and AUSTIN RIVERS.
— D.J. Foster (@fosterdj) January 15, 2015
Source: Final take from Clippers deal is Shav Randolph, who will stay on roster, and 2017 pick. Also Chris D-R, who will be waived.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) January 15, 2015
And if you're the Celtics... why do it at all? Why not get a free look at Austin — who obviously has some talent — basically they got Shavlick Randolph and a second round pick for a guy who was the 10th pick in the draft only two years ago... without even playing him to see if he was worth keeping.
Sure, it makes sense to waive other trade pickups Nate Robinson and Tayshaun Prince — because they're super old and not that great at basketball anymore — but the Austin Rivers case is perplexing: he's still young and might be good at basketball. Maybe.
But as ESPN's Stein says, it's simply about asset collection for the tanking Celtics. Stein points out "Boston is armed with as many as 14 potential picks over the next two drafts, including what's likely to be six first-rounders and two early second-rounders via Philadelphia."
It's also a shame the Celtics will reportedly waive Douglas-Roberts, one of the league's stranger dudes.
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Missed opportunity: had a story on CDR back-burnered where he told me Basquiat was his favorite artist because "He doesn't give a f----."
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 15, 2015