Free-agent combo guard Austin Rivers is reportedly close to signing a deal with the Denver Nuggets.
According to NBA insider Shams Charania, Rivers is involved in serious discussions with the team. A move to Denver would mark he former Duke Blue Devil’s sixth franchise since entering the league in 2012.
Free agent guard Austin Rivers and the Denver Nuggets are in serious talks toward a deal, pending health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 14, 2021
Selected with the No. 10 overall pick by the then-New Orleans Hornets back in the 2012 draft, Rivers played two and a half years before getting traded to the Los Angeles Clippers where he spent the majority of his 11-year career so far. Midway through the 2018-19 season, he was traded twice — first to the Washington Wizards then quickly to the Houston Rockets where he played for two seasons.
Most recently, Rivers served in a backup role on a solid New York Knicks team. Through 29 games and two starts, the veteran averaged 7.3 points in 21.0 minutes per game. The 28 year old signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Knicks in November of last year.
Before this year’s trade deadline, Rivers was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder by way of a three-team trade. Just three days after that move the Thunder elected to waive the newly-acquired guard.
Finding a new home with the Nuggets in 2021, Rivers would have a chance to move from a mid-tier Eastern Conference squad to a team that was considered a title contender at the beginning of the season. It’s fair to say his minutes and role with Denver would see a significant leap as well.
With the devastating ACL tear suffered by Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray on Monday night, the team is in desperate need of guard scoring and depth. Without Murray, the current backcourt starters, Facundo Campazzo and Will Barton, average just 17.8 ppg combined. Before his injury Murray was averaging 21.2 ppg.
With this newly-opened void in the guard depth chart, signing Rivers seems like a logical move for the Nuggets.
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