Rivers opted out of his player option with the Clippers earlier in the week so that he could test free agency, and after exploring his options he decided to re-up with the Clippers, though the financial details of the deal haven't been released. Last season, Rivers averaged a career high 8.9 points per game and 44 percent field goal percentage while playing 21.9 minutes per game as the team's backup point guard. He'll likely see a similar role with the team going forward.
Had he picked up the option, Rivers would have been due $3.3 million for the upcoming season. However, after recording a few solid performances on the occasions he received more extended minutes when Chris Paul was sitting out during the 2015-16 campaign, Rivers evidently believes he can increase his salary by hitting the open market. It's unclear if any team is willing to sign Rivers with the intention of making him a full-time starter, but with the cap rising, he'll still likely earn a pay increase no matter where he ends up landing, and no matter what role he assumes.
The 23-year-old managed a much better outing than his Game 5 effort, despite having to exit the game at one point with a facial laceration after taking an elbow from Al-Farouq Aminu. He wasn't able to do much from long range, but was effective from in front of the stripe and as a ball distributor. While he naturally wasn't able to provide anywhere the same level of play as Chris Paul after the latter's hand injury in Game 4, he certainly offered solid contributions in the
Austin Rivers will return to Friday's Game 6 against Portland despite receiving 11 stitches around his left eye after taking an inadvertent elbow from Al-Farouq Aminu, Dan Woike of the Orange County Register reports.
The Los Angeles Clippers are already devoid of Chris Paul (hand) and facing a 3-2 series deficit, so Rivers had little choice but to rejoin his team on the court despite significant swelling around his left eye.
Austin Rivers recorded 13 points (6-13 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 0-1 FT), three rebounds, and three assists across 37 minutes during the Los Angeles Clippers ' 108-98 loss to the Trail Blazers in Wednesday's Game 5.
Rivers started in place of the injured Chris Paul (hand), and posted a game-low plus/minus -23 in the Clippers' 10-point loss. During seven games as a starter in the regular season, Rivers averaged 13.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 34 minutes, so Wednesday's output was par for the course. With that being said, since Paul and Griffin (quad) are out, Rivers will need to elevate his game a few levels if he hopes to help the Clippers force a Game 7 by beating the Trail Blazers in Portland on Friday.
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