Austin Rivers, sought by Clippers, would bring versatility at guard

 Austin Rivers, sought by Clippers, would bring versatility at guard
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers hugs his son, Pelicans guard Austin Rivers, after a game in December. Could Doc soon be coaching Austin on the Clippers? (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Austin Rivers probably wouldn't do much to help address some of the Clippers bench's biggest deficiencies.

The reserves ranked last in the NBA in rebounding (10.4 per game), tied for 27th in blocks (1.1) and tied for 24th in field-goal percentage (.413) entering Monday's games.


Those categories aren't among the strengths of the third-year guard whom the Clippers are trying to acquire after he was officially traded from New Orleans to Boston on Monday.

Rivers would provide some needed versatility, though, because he can play both point guard and shooting guard. The son of Clippers Coach Doc Rivers averaged 6.8 points, 2.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 38.7% this season for the Pelicans.

The Clippers bench also ranked 20th in points (31.7) and often falls far below that average on the nights that shooting guard Jamal Crawford struggles. Crawford had four points on one-for-nine shooting Sunday during the Clippers' 104-90 loss to the Miami Heat, a big reason the Clippers' reserves were outscored, 37-15.

"When Jamal doesn't score," Doc Rivers said, "that affects our whole team. He's part of points that you assume you're going to get every night."

One potential free agent the Clippers could consider to bolster their defense is veteran small forward Tayshaun Prince, a Compton native who is reportedly in buyout talks with Boston after being acquired by the Celtics as part of the Austin Rivers trade.

Technical experts

The Clippers continue to be among the league leaders in one undesirable category: technical fouls.

Matt Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul and Crawford each picked up a technical against the Heat, giving the Clippers three players with at least five technicals this season.

Barnes has eight technicals, the third-most in the NBA, while Blake Griffin has six and Jordan five. Players are suspended for one game after receiving 16 technicals.

"Those are tough," Griffin said of the technicals the Clippers received Sunday, "but I think they are out of frustration and it's another thing we can control."

Griffin case update

The attorney representing Griffin in a misdemeanor battery case said he had presented the prosecutor with the findings of his investigation into the alleged October incident inside a Las Vegas nightclub.

Daniel Schuman told police that Griffin snatched his cellphone and then grabbed him after he took a photo of a group of Clippers players inside the Tao nightclub inside the Venetian resort.

Attorney Richard Schonfeld said the next court date was set for Feb. 17. A conviction could carry up to a six-month jail sentence, though that would be unlikely for someone with no prior criminal record.


Twitter: @latbbolch