It’s been a hectic week for Austin Rivers.
On Thursday, just before the NBA’s trade deadline, the New York Knicks sent Rivers to the Oklahoma City Thunder, in a three-team trade with the 76ers. Three days later, the Thunder opted to waive Rivers, who had yet to join the team, per Shams Charania.
Already, there’s a frontrunner to sign the 28-year-old guard once he clears waivers: the Milwaukee Bucks.
Minutes after Charania reported that the Thunder had waived Rivers, the NBA insider shared that the Bucks are the “leaders” to sign the former 10th overall pick. Both sides have shown “strong mutual interest” in one another.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 28, 2021
Rivers played a reliable bench role the Knicks through the first half of the 2020-21 season. In 21 appearances with the team, he averaged 7.3 points, 2.0 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per game. However, New York had placed an emphasis on playing 26-year-old Elfrid Payton and rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley, leaving Rivers without a major spot in the rotation.
Since he came into the league in 2012, Rivers has bounced around, becoming somewhat of a journeyman in the NBA. If he does end up in Milwaukee, the Bucks will become the sixth franchise that the 28-year-old has played for in the last nine years.
Signing Rivers would give the Bucks additional depth at guard as they mount a title run later this summer. After unloading D.J. Augustin in order to acquire P.J. Tucker, Milwaukee has been in need of additional help in the backcourt. Rivers would fit the bill and get another opportunity to play on a contender.
The Bucks currently sit in third in the Eastern Conference, just 2.5 games behind the first-place 76ers.