What do you guys think of him? I've never been high on him but I still thought he could be a quality scorer in the league. But now the more tape of him I watch I can't shake the feeling that he will be a bust. He's 6'5 which is ok size for a 2 guard but he is really thin. He has got a nice handle but to me that's about it. He plays no defense, is very selfish and cocky, can't finish at the rim and has a poor jump shot. I don't see what makes him special. Would he have gone 10th if his dad wasn't doc rivers?
@Hadzialijagic I definitely wouldn't say Austin Rivers has a poor jump shot. He's more scorer than shooter, but he can really shoot the ball.
I think Austin Rivers could be a special player in the NBA and a big reason is that he is Doc Rivers son. Obviously Doc is a former player and a current coach in the NBA...you have to figure that Austin's basketball IQ is much higher thanks to those things alone. He's lived an NBA lifestyle thanks to his father and likely won't have too hard a transition. Austin is definitely cocky, but I'm sure he has to know thanks to his father that it takes extreme work to be a top level player. I know people criticized Austin at Duke, but truth be told he was playing like an NBA player rather than a college player there. He may have been better served going to a team whose identity would be to allow him to attack relentlessly rather than Duke where Coach K has his system that isn't made for guys like him.
Austin wants to be great and he's seen enough NBA players and their work ethic to know how to get there. I'd be surprised if we don't see Austin Rivers in at least a few all star games throughout his career.
Your clearly are not watching the tape with a real basketball eye if you can't see what makes him special. Some of the weaknesses you mentioned are valid to an extent. Let's focus on what makes him a special talent @ the 2. 1 he has an unguardable first step, perhaps it will be the best in the league next to Carmelo anthonys. There is not a 2 guard in the league that will be able to keep him in front of them. 2 he has pro level foot work, when you watch him work off a screen or set up an opponent for a shot, it's already at a pro level that many don't even adopt. 3 he also has a mid range game, his floater will grow to be his most effective & crucial shot. He is not a poor defender, he can get better but he competes. He will get stronger up top, the easiest place to bulk up, which will help him absorb hits &finish at the rim. If you refer to his college shooting % that has more to do about shot selection, he did shoot a better % then Beal, yet most claim beal to be the next ray Allen. Im high on rivers, he will be a Jamal Crawford level player
I respect your opinions and you guys do make valid points. He does have an amazing drive to win and hopefully that overcompensates for his rumored maturity issues. His jump shot to me is overrated 66%FT is pretty bad. But he can improve I dont doubt that. His PER and True Shooting percentages are at the bottom of this class. Could anyone post them for me if they know? I feel like he has too many shortcomings to be an allstar but he can be a Jason terry like player. I don't know that's just me though.
I can name a smaller guard, who was probably a worse shooter at the same age. Monte Ellis. If Austin really works, he can be that type of player. I don't really see him being worse than a Jamal Crawford sixth man.
Let's just see if he improves. He will at least be fun to watch with that crazy handle of his.
His TS% is .551. Average for a DX100 SG prospect is .589. But yeah the FT% is bizarre. I can understand that Rivers takes some tough shot creating off the dribble. But the FT is just standing there. How can a shooting guard shoot FTs that badly and yet still be considered a shooter? Average for a DX100SG is 77% from the line, if you want to compare.
Rivers is kinda sneaky big - he weighs 203 lbs, which is absolutely adequate for a 6-5 NBA player, Kobe is listed as 205 lbs on NBA.com
The kid has a lot of work to do on his game. Let's see...
1) Needs to bulk up
2) Needs to become a better finisher with both hands (especially left)
3) Needs to stop having tunnel vision and needs to improve his passing skills
4) Needs to work on shot selection and when to pull up from midrange
5) Made 1 yes I repeat ONE mid range pull up jump shot all year. Definitely needs to work on mid range shooting
6) Shot 66% from FT line. That's atrocious for a physical guard like him. Needs to work on his shooting mechanics
7) Showed a real desire to be a good defender last year but still lacked quickness. Became the best perimeter defender on Duke (but that isn't saying much since everyone was a bad perimeter defender)
So based on all that...I think we won't see him really perform well until his 3rd year in the league.
But there is something I can't ignore. His competitiveness. It's borderline Kobe.
This picture was taken after FSU hit a buzzer beater in Cameron Indoor. You can just tell how much he HATES losing.
I thought that would be my most memorable moment from him last year...then he went and did this...
Kid has cajones and you can't teach that...
Oh yeah plus he has a nasty ass crossover lol. Probably one of the best I've seen in a while along with an array of nifty moves to get to the basket.
how's it going buddy? lol. quick question, are you an NC resident? (I am a Raleigh resident)
anyway....I think his and Doc's basketball relationship is overstated...and didnt he say that Doc didnt really work with him on his game much? he said Doc pretty much let him do his thing and didnt raise him to be a basketball player....
just wanted to state that, because the fact that he was a top HS player didnt have much to do with Doc outside of basketball running in the family.
assessing him very closely, as competitive and cocky as he is, he sulks and gets very discouraged when things dont go his way. thats really the major criticism I have of him.
despite needing to work on different parts of his game (who doesnt at that age?) the one thing that will be the difference in him being a great NBA player and an average one is his ability to make the pass and get his teammates involved. really, its just about as simple as that because all his other weaknesses I see nothing preventing him from improving. he is a score first guy, but if he really learned how to be a pass first guy and played that way....his game would balance out.
he has two obstacles though that will likely prevent that, first....he has to want to embrace that attitude and sacrifice his scoring and being the man and want to get teammates involved...he can do it. secondly, the situation he is being placed in at N.O. likely will not allow him to do this. he will be relied on heavily to score, even moreso if Gordon doesnt return.
I dont believe he is permanently wired as a scorer....he can be reprogrammed. He will have to be if he wants greatness.
If he fails to do this, he still will have a good career. Around the level of Monta Ellis/OJ Mayo in the right system. An 18-20ppg scorer some seasons.
If he can make the transformation....and I am bracing myself for the onslaught of negs....this kid could be very close to a Deron Williams....a poor man's version at least.
Haha yeah Surve I live in Burlington (my backyard is pretty much Elon University).
Just wondering...do you think Austin has the kind of athleticism to vault him into superstar (Deron Williams) status?
Also, I agree with your sentiment that "he's going to succeed because of Doc" is stupid. I heard Stephen A. harping about that and it dumbfounded me that "the main reason Austin is going to succeed is because of Doc".
Based on reports coming from the family, Doc has had zero role in the development of his son's basketball talent other than be a supporting father. And I think that's why you see such a lack of fundamentals in Austin's game that you'd otherwise expect from the son of a coach of Doc's stature.
If Austin succeeds, it'll be because of him alone. Not Doc.
Likewise if he fails...
"Doc has had zero role in the development of his son's basketball talent other than be a supporting father."
thats what I always heard. people just like to make things into more than what they are...actually, I think Austin is a bit of a late bloomer.
as far as the Deron Williams comparison....Austin has every bit the athleticism that Deron has, he is just not as strong physically....YET.
I have been critical of Austin in the past, but I think I was nitpicking a bit too much when you look at his overall package. I never doubted his scoring ability, and I think his athleticism is a tad underated, plus, there is no need to down him because of his weight, he will physically mature and fill out...and get his "man strength".
Overall, I like him, I think he can be special with the right tutelage and guidance if he wants to be. Monty Williams is a great guy to help with that, but I just think the situation he is going to may not be the best to help him truly develop the way he should.
I wouldve loved to have seen him in Boston playing behind and alongside Rondo and under Doc's guidance. The guy has room to grow...but like a lot of these 19-20 year olds, they just get tossed into a situation where they are forced to produce instead of having the luxury to learn...like PJIII will have.
Hey, Austin has every bit of athleticsm as Steve Nash, so clearly he can just "decide" to become a pass first player and then he will lead the league in assists and win MVPs. Surely any decent sized guy with good speed and a handle can just become an NBA point guard by deciding to get his team involved. Nothing could be easier, right? Deron Williams should be his FLOOR if he just decides to become a complete player.
Look, Austin averaged less than 2.5 assist a game while turning it over nearly 3 times a game. He isn't becoming a point guard. You must think that anyone can become an NBA point guard as long as they are decently quick. If that is so, NBA point guards sure are overpaid.
Austin's upside is Jamal Crawford. He is never going to set people up to any special degree. With Davis on his team, I'm guessing he averages 3 assists a game. He is certainly never going to help the team outside of scoring points. But if he becomes as good as JC, then he will have a nice role as a sixth man for scoring punch. And he will be fun to watch as well, so let's hope he can do that.
I really see people in love of his flashiness. The UNC Shot reminds me of Kemba Walkers step back shot over McGee two years ago. One shot in a big situation doesn't turn you into a high percentage shooter.'
No, I do not think anyone can just become a PG. I am one of the first guys on here who will point out a guy for not having that ability to transition. I didnt say he WILL unequivocally be a good PG, but I think with young guys like that, we tend to box them too much. It does depend on his development under the right coaches and systems, which I admitted, it doesnt look like it will happen in New Orleans. Its just like early childhood development, this is something that has to be nutured now so he can create good habits and eliminate bad habits. I dont think he will be as good a PG as DWill, but I said similar....a lesser version. I dont get too excited over how many turnovers a guy has when he is the leading scorer on a team and the ONLY guy on that team that can create his own shot....especially when that guy is 19 years old.
DWill his last year of college avg 12.5ppg and 6.8apg. In the NBA he has maxed at around 21ppg and 10apg. Why cant Austin avg 17ppg and 7apg? Wouldnt that be considered in the realm of a poor man's DWill? Jason Terry did it, but you dont consider him a PG either...do you?
His size is good for 2G and him being skinny is just normal 19 year old body. He will get as big as he wants or needs with continued weight work.
But really that stuff is meaningless. The real problem is that he is a "scorer" who was only about the 50th best scoring 2G in the Division 1 last year. 16pts per game as your teams number one option just isn't impressive, even if your handle means there are pretty moves involved in getting them. Though admittedly it is a good number for a rookie. But you have to understand, this is a guy who has been working with an NBA coach his entire life. So of course he is fairly advanced for a rookie.
So he doesn't score that much for a starting 2G. When you compare him to the top 100 2G prospects in college (a group that will only have a handful of future pros in it), he looks terrible. He shoots a below average percentage from every position (2FG%, 3FG%, FT%, TS%). He is below average compared to this group of 100 2Gs (so we aren't talking just the elites) in rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers, and fouls. Just to repeat this is EVERY statistical catagory compared to basically the average of every 2G in college you might have heard of. You could have randomly picked a 2G in college last year from any of the major or minor teams (setting aside the Ivys) and you would have a good chance of having gotten a player with better stats. It is kind of amazing. There was not one statistical catagory that Austin was above average.
And his defining moment of shooting the three of Zeller is in fact aweful. An NBA 2G (especially one without a great jumper), when faced with a 7 foot white guy guarding him 25 feet from the basket should think only one thing, "Please, I'm blowing by you on on my first step, dropping you off at the freethrow line, and then I'm finishing at the basket over the smaller defenders left." I guaranty Zeller was giving Austin space to try to prevent a just terrible blow by. So either Austin couldn't take Zeller off the dribble (which would be shocking) or he thought a step back three was really the way to go. Either way, it was not a good play.
The kid has two things going for him as I see it. One he will understand the "life" because of the background and it won't faze him. And two, he is young and he might still be getting stronger, faster and thereby better. He probably can't be taught a great deal more about basketball at this stage considering he has already be preached at by Doc, Coach K, and the numerous other top coaches and NBA players he has met through his Dad growing up. But if he is still developing physically maybe he can be stronger to the rim. It is really a hope and prayer.
Oh, and Rivers has something else going for him. He is going to play with Davis. So despite last year him having averaged more turnovers than assists (yet another statistical catagory he was bad at), I think everyone on NO will be able to throw lobs to Davis and pad their assist numbers.
Austin Rivers went to the best place to grow and develop. Monty Williams is a good coach and they know Austin's game so i think maybe if he would have gone other places, he could easily fall into what happened to Bayless but I doubt that happens.
I honestly don't understand how people can think Rivers will be a bust at the next level. His best attribute, creating his own shot, is surprisingly rare in todays NBA. So rare infact, that a guy like JJ Redick was highly coveted during his free agency stint just because of that skill, and got paid for it. If he can come in and play the point for a stretch without hurting the team he could be a valuable asset for the Hornets with or without Eric Gordon.
Rivers is a 6'5 combo guard who can get past his man, and most importantly wants to work hard and get better. He will easily be a double digit scorer at the next level, and could be what we all wanted OJ Mayo to be. I also like the situation that he's in. As OP mentioned, Rivers isn't the greatest defender, but with Anthony Davis backing him up it'll hide a lot of the missed plays that he'll potentially give up. If he takes better shots, and plays smart I think he'll be a good NBA player.
JJ Redick creating his own shot? that'd be the day...
Rivers will be a much better nba player than he was in college this guys game is made for the nba which is why he struggled at duke, he is skinny because of his age his body will grow his jumpshot is not poor its pretty good which is why he was compared to Stephen curry he just has poor shot selection, I can't wait till the summer league starts because he will light it up
I'm not high on Austin Rivers and think he's significantly overrated, but he has NBA DNA in him and has grown up around this. He's super confident and he's a hard worker. I think he's in the perfect place to reach his potential. He'll let Monty Williams coach him hard, so he should improve on his weaknesses.
hes gonna be able to score a lot on the nba level cuz the game is way more wide open then hs and college and his handle is gonna make it hard for any pg or sg to guard him straight up its gonna be way to hard to stay infront of him, and the fact that you have to play his jumper honest makes him more dangerous for defenders and playing alongside an eric gordon will make it even easier cuz he wont be guarded by a teams best perimeter defender