Worst NBA Trade Ever? Austin Rivers Headed To LA Clippers To Play For Dad Doc In Three-Team Swap With Boston Celtics & Phoenix Suns

By Jaymz Clements (jaymz.clements@mstarsnews.com) | Jan 15, 2015 06:49 PM EST
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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. 

So. Who thinks this is a great idea?

Austin, a former top high school prospect who was the 10th pick in the 2012 NBA draft, was traded to Boston only last week as part of the Jeff Green-to-Memphis deal, and didn't report to the team.

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... 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:

Which was echoed by his CBS compadre, Matt Moore:

Even Grantland's usually cautiously optimistic Zach Lowe is confused:

But the big takeaway for the Clips?


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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