The Los Angeles Clippers asked Kevin Durant to let them know where they stood on Saturday — if they had the chance to land him they had to start stripping down the roster to nothing. If not, they needed to start re-signing their own free agents (they already lost Jeff Green, who they gave up a first-round pick to get at the trade deadline).
Here is the sign the Clippers are out of the Durant sweepstakes, they are bringing back Austin Rivers.
It’s a three-year, $35 million deal according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. That seems a bit high for a backup point guard, but not wildly out of line.
There’s been plenty of “he’s only still in the NBA because of his dad” talk about Austin (son of Clipper coach and GM Doc Rivers), but that has become overstated. He’s certainly got flaws in his game, but his defense did improve last season and his shot selection, while not great, was better. Overall he’s a below replacement-level player, but he averaged 8.9 points and 1.5 assists per game last season and in the Clippers crucial Game 6 in the playoffs he played well on that big stage. He’s not as bad as his reputation.
And he’s a Clipper for three more years.