Doc Rivers' latest Clippers trade hits home -- he gets Austin Rivers

Doc Rivers' latest Clippers trade hits home -- he gets Austin Rivers
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, left, with his son, former New Orleans Pelicans guard Austin Rivers, after a game on Dec. 6. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Father knows best?

Austin Rivers certainly hopes so.


The 22-year-old shooting guard could only trust his father knew what he was doing Thursday when Doc Rivers completed a trade that brought his son to the Clippers.

Rivers was born in Santa Monica, spent part of his recent summers with his family in a Westwood high-rise condominium and is now on the verge of attempting what he hopes is a Hollywood turnaround.

Rivers has largely disappointed in his first three professional seasons, posting modest statistics for a player selected No. 10 overall in the 2012 NBA draft after one season at Duke.

Rivers was traded Monday by the New Orleans Pelicans, the team that drafted him, to the Boston Celtics as part of a deal in which the Celtics did not intend to keep Rivers because they covet players with a higher upside.

Like any young adult wondering what to do next, Rivers is turning to his dad, who just happens to be in a position to change the arc of his son's career.

Doc Rivers essentially runs the Clippers as coach and president of basketball operations, though he was hesitant to the idea of adding his son to the roster before several underlings convinced him the move might make sense. The Clippers have one of the most underachieving benches in the NBA and Austin Rivers' versatility as a shooting guard and point guard makes him more valuable than his statistics might suggest.

Austin Rivers is also in position to make league history as the first son to play for his father.

"He's a downhill guard, which is something we need," Doc Rivers said recently, "so I certainly would" be open to coaching him.

The Clippers were hoping to complete the trade by Thursday, though it would require the cooperation of a third team because Boston was believed to be unwilling to add salary as part of any deal. The Clippers needed to unload roughly $1.8 million in salary to make the trade work.

In the deal, guard Reggie Bullock went from the Clippers to Phoenix, forward Shavlik Randolph from Phoenix to Boston, and guard Chris Douglas-Roberts and a 2017 second-round pick from the Clippers to Boston.

The trade for Rivers' son might stoke smoldering concerns among Clippers fans already worried about Doc Rivers' brief track record with personnel moves.

For all his coaching smarts and steadying presence during the Donald Sterling scandal, Rivers has had a spotty record in player acquisition since joining the Clippers in June 2013.

He traded an emerging phenom in Eric Bledsoe, surrendered a first-round draft pick to unload the underwhelming Jared Dudley and drafted a pair of first-round draft picks who have struggled to crack his playing rotation.

And that doesn't even account for his most recent off-season moves, the acquisitions of massive letdowns Spencer Hawes and Jordan Farmar — the latter player's ineffectiveness being the very reason Rivers even considered adding his son.


Twitter: @latbbolch

Associated Press contributed to this story.