DENVER – Austin Rivers has separated himself from the group for free agent guards the Nuggets were interested in signing, according to multiple reports.
The Athletic reported Rivers and the Nuggets “were in serious talks toward a deal, pending health and safety protocols.” The Denver Post added it would likely start as a 10-day contract, which would give the Nuggets a bit more flexibility after the team learned Jamal Murray would miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
When asked about the possibility of signing Rivers or another player, Nuggets coach Michael Malone spoke generally and addressed the difficulty of adding a player to the rotation with 18 games left in the regular season.
“It’s a challenge, but I give Tim Connelly credit. I think he and his staff are always looking at opportunities for us to potentially help ourselves,” Malone said before Wednesday’s game against Miami. “So if we were to bring somebody in, our team, the coaching staff would do everything in our power to make sure that player was adjusted as quickly as possible.”
Rivers entered the league as an elite talent after one year at Duke but has bounced around the league over the last nine years. He started his career in New Orleans before a stint playing for his dad, Doc, with the Los Angeles Clippers. He made 21 appearances with the Knicks earlier this season before being traded to Oklahoma City, which promptly released the 28-year-old combo guard.
For his career, Rivers averages 9.1 points and 2.3 assists. He’s a couple of years removed from his most productive season in 2017-18 when he posted 15.1 points and four assists per game while shooting a career-best 37.8% from 3-point range for the Clippers.