Austin Rivers agrees to sign with Knicks
It didn’t take long for Austin Rivers to find a new team after opting out of his contract with the Houston Rockets. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the veteran guard is signing a three-year deal with the New York Knicks.
Update on Rivers' contract: Three years, $10M, source tells ESPN. https://t.co/mfOQ2XIne7
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 23, 2020
The Knicks decide to add some scoring to their backcourt, which has been one of their biggest weakness in the last couple of years. Frank Ntilikina has struggled to make an impact on the offensive end and Dennis Smith Jr has been very inconsistent scoring the ball.
Austin Rivers will likely take on the role of a sparkplug offensive scorer off the bench, similar to his role with the Rockets.
Rivers hasn’t quite lived up to his 10th overall pick expectations, but it would be foolish to say that he isn’t a valuable role player. Over his career, the new Knicks guard has averaged 9.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 35.6 percent from deep. Rivers is a shot creator who can establish an immediate advantage on offense with his ball-handling and change of speed.
The Knicks will likely include Rivers in their rotation next season, considering the struggles that they have had at guard. He should also be able to be a backup offensive facilitator on the second unit.
Rivers could also be pivotal to the development of the Knicks’ eighth overall selection in 2020, Obi Toppin. The young forward is exceptional in the pick-and-roll, another area where Doc Rivers’ son is known to make an impact.
This will be Austin’s fifth team in nine years in the NBA, but the Knicks could be the home that Rivers has been looking for in his career.
*UPDATE: An earlier version of this news stated that Rivers has agreed to a one-year deal with the Knicks. According to the latest updates, the deal is for three years and $10 million. The final two years of the deal are non-guaranteed. It has since been corrected.