The Clippers were dealing with an extremely crowded backcourt coming into this offseason with Milos Teodosic, Lou Williams and a healthy Patrick Beverley. However, they ended up also adding another guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the first round of last week's draft, so someone clearly had to go. It turns out to be Rivers, who is now headed to Washington. With the move to the Wizards, Rivers value certainly isn't helped, as he'll be forced to back up All-Stars John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt. As a result, it's safe to assume Rivers' career-high production of 15.1 points, 4.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds is set to take a bit of of hit. Rivers is also on an expiring $12.6 million contract, so there isn't much risk here for the Wizards.
Rivers will exercise his $12.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports.
It was reported earlier in June that Rivers was undecided on whether to opt in or out of his contract, though it appears he's chosen the former and will remain with the Clippers for a fourth straight season. While Rivers saw action in just 61 games in 2017-18, he did tally career-highs of 15.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals across 33.7 minutes, and was relied upon in the backcourt when the Clippers were dealing with some other injuries. While there's been some trade speculation regarding other guards on the roster, the Clippers currently have the likes of Milos Teodosic, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams under contract, so Rivers will certainly have to fend off some of these other guys in order to approach the 33.7 minutes he averaged last year.
Rivers indicated Monday that he's still deciding whether or not he'll exercise his player option for the 2018-19 season, Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points reports.
Rivers inked a three-year, $35 million contract with the Clippers in the summer of 2016, and the deal includes a player option worth roughly $12.7 million for 2018-19. The 25-year-old missed 21 games last season, but it was nonetheless the most productive year of his career, so he'll likely find suitors should he decline the option. However, given that only a handful of teams project to have significant cap room, it may be in Rivers' best interest to exercise the option and hit the market as an unrestricted free agent in 2019, when more teams are expected to have flexibility. Rivers averaged 15.1 points, 4.0 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 33.7 minutes per game in 2017-18 -- all career-bests.
Rivers enjoyed his best season of his career despite tying a career low with 61 games played. The Duke Blue Devil increased his points- and assists-per-game averages by 3.1 and 1.2 respectively. Surprisingly though, the 24-year-old shot 42.4 percent from the floor, which was down from his last two seasons. Rivers is signed through next season in which he will make about $12.7 million.
Rivers (elbow) will play Wednesday against the Lakers, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com reports.
After missing the Clippers last game, Rivers will return to the lineup for the season finale. With Rivers getting the green light, he likely won't see any restrictions and will play his usual workload. Since the start of March, Rivers is averaging 15.3 points and 4.3 assists over 35.9 minutes.
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