Shocking trade III: Austin Rivers
Austin Rivers is the other veteran backcourt player who was added to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster to fill the void for perimeter shooting and backcourt depth, as well as defense, he is another player who has not always been able to step up at the opening tipoff.
Don’t get me wrong, Austin Rivers has checked many of the boxes for the Minnesota Timberwolves that do not include the standard set of statistics found in the box stats after a game. He has been the PR guy for the players, oftentimes encouraging fan support when the team is not meeting the mark. And he has been one of the strong locker room presences for the team through what has been a pretty rough and disappointing first half of the NBA season.
Last resort? Rivers has trade value
Rivers is currently one of the better perimeter shooters on the Timberwolves’ roster but is clearly still playing at a level that is below his NBA career average. If the Timbewolves are convinced that this is a playoff team, then it makes complete sense to hold onto Austin Rivers for postseason play. But if there are questions about the viability of getting into the NBA playoffs, then the team will need liquid assets in the offseason, and trading players for picks is the most certain way to go about that.
The Timberwolves would rather offload other players, but if they want to trade, the team may need to be prepared to part ways with Austin Rivers. Of course, this scenario is only likely if the front office is convinced that the Timberwolves will not be a playoff team by season’s end.