One of the bigger draft disappointments from the last couple of seasons is Austin Rivers, as the New Orleans Pelicans are making it known they’d be quite happy with any kind of trade offering for the player who just isn’t working out for them.
Rivers had an awful rookie season (6.2 points, 37.2% from the field) and things haven’t gotten much better this year. His PER has almost doubled and he is scoring 6.1 points while his minutes dropped by more than a third, but his shooting hasn’t improved, hitting 38.4% of his shots and his True Shooting and Effective field goal numbers only slightly increasing.
He’s been getting more minutes over the last few games (almost 20 a night in January and February) because the Pelicans are now in sale mode, and are trying to parade him around so someone will try to sign him. According to Steve Kyler of BasketballInsiders.com, there’s an agreement in place all season to move him if playing time and opportunity did not become available.
The Pelicans won’t be picky for what they get in return. Rivers is actually a good deal for everyone: The Pelicans get rid of a prospect who just isn’t working out for them but still hasn’t burned out the last hope of his potential coming through at some point, while his contract is very comfortable for the team that picks him up.
It’s a cap-hit of $2.3 million this season, $2.4 million next season and a team option on a $3.1 million in 2015-2016, which means there’s very little risk in Rivers becoming too much of a weight on the payroll for anyone, while having one more season to prove that being the 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft wasn’t a huge mistake, and there’s more to him than just being the son of head coach Doc Rivers.