The Boston Celtics parted ways with guard Marcus Smart this offseason, opening up a void to be filled this upcoming season.
Taking notice of the space still available to make an impact behind Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon, NBA free agent Austin Rivers capitalized. The 31-year-old, who played for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, recently spoke with the Celtics, making it known that if Boston has an interest in adding Rivers, the feeling is mutual.
“I had a great talk with Brad (Stevens) actually like a week ago,” Rivers revealed during an appearance on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.”
Rivers added about his chit-chat with Stevens: “I told him I’d love to be a part of the team. He said a lot of positive things. We’ll see if that’s something that will come to fruition. I’ve always loved Brad. I’ve always been a fan of him.”
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Rivers isn’t as impactful as Smart on either end of the floor, but that’s the sacrifice that comes with adding Kristaps Porzingis. Replacing Smart isn’t easy by any stretch, especially in terms of defensive intensity, however, adding a veteran like Rivers wouldn’t be a bad route to take either.
Rivers is coming off a down year after he averaged 4.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists, shooting 43.5% from the field and 35% from 3-point range. Then again, Rivers played just 19.5 minutes per contest, his lowest average since his second NBA season in 2013.
If the Celtics are indeed in the market for a low-cost veteran with plenty of reason for motivation in the tank, Rivers could be the guy.
Featured image via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images