A day after pitching Kevin Durant on a Big 4 of himself, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers have effectively dashed any hopes they may have had at landing the free-agent superstar by reportedly agreeing on a deal with Austin Rivers. According to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, Rivers agreed to take a three-year, $35 million deal with the Clippers, which virtually eliminates any cap space they may have had to sign Durant.
The Clippers could theoretically do a sign-and-trade for Durant but that would mean they would have to trade either Griffin or Jordan. So again, the idea of a Big 4 can't happen now. Truth be told, despite blowing away Durant in their meeting, with their limited cap space the Clippers were always long shots to actually sign the All-Star. Getting a meeting with Durant was huge, though, and could help them in future free-agent meetings.
Agreeing to re-sign Rivers does help the Clips with their bench continuity. Rivers had an up-and-down career before he was traded to the Clippers and he has blossomed under the guidance of his father, coach Doc Rivers. Last season, Rivers averaged 8.9 points and 1.5 assists and had some big-time performances in the playoffs after Paul went down with an injury. Re-signing Rivers also gives the Clippers some insurance in case free agent Jamal Crawford signs elsewhere.
If Rivers is able to continue to develop and grow as a go-to scorer off the bench, this is a solid signing by the Clippers. That may be a big if, but Rivers has shown progress since joining the Clippers, so Los Angeles is clearly betting that his best is yet to come.