Well, the first player domino of the offseason just fell. Austin Rivers, who signed a two-year minimum deal last offseason with a player option for this year, told The Ringer in a podcast that he plans on opting out and becoming a free agent.
New 'Real Ones' with @AustinRivers25 on @RingerNBA:— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) November 10, 2020
-His upcoming free agency (he plans to opt-out of his current deal)
-Houston's bubble recap
-Doc's new job in Philly
According to Rivers:
“I definitely want to be out there on the market, and just see what else is out there. But I love Houston. Houston’s still one of my main options. That’s a team I loved playing for. But there’s other teams out there that you want to look at. You owe it to yourself to at least see the best situation.”
So it sounds like Rivers hasn’t completely closed the book on returning to H-town, but he’s mentioned several times since he arrived to the Rockets how much he enjoyed playing for former head coach Mike D’Antoni, and now that Mike’s moved on, it appears that Rivers is entertaining it too.
Rivers was enjoyable to have on the team these last two seasons, and has any player changed his rep more with a fanbase than Rivers did with the Red Rowdies? Formerly public enemy number one from his days with the Los Angeles Clippers and a budding rivalry with the Rockets, Rivers became a fan favorite in Houston for his hustle and fiery play off the bench.
He finished his two seasons with the Rockets averaging 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He shot 42 percent from the field and 34 percent from deep and was great fit off the bench in 25 minutes per game.
With NBA free agency slated to begin November 20, we won’t have long to wait to find out where Rivers ends up.