Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Evan Chvotkin
The Washington Wizards introduced Austin Rivers into the mix today at Capital One Bank Arena, but just as the Wizards are putting together some plan, it appears that the remainder of the NBA is putting together a master plan of super teams. So at this point does it just matter if the Wizards have enough power to compete in the Eastern Conference against teams like the Celtics? Or are they interested in really going after the teams that matter, aka the Warriors and Lakers?
So what are some of the connections to the Wizards for Rivers? He grew up playing amateur basketball against Bradley Beal. He has spent the past few weeks working out in Miami with the same trainer as John Wall. He is just 25 years old and Los Angeles had been home for three and half years but, in Washington, he sees a welcome mat and a chance for a fresh start.
“Very excited to be here,” he said Monday. “It’s like an old AAU team.”
Rivers can certainly help the Wizards in many ways, but do his career numbers really reflect that? Some would say this is just a mediocre pick-up at best. We shall see come October, but one thing we know for sure, the Wizards certainly have some young talent in the building this year that will have some stiff competition from quite a few teams this year.
“The way he plays fits in real well with what we are trying to do, and that’s move up and down the floor a little bit more,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld.
Rivers has clearly developed a bit of his game under former Wizards Assistant and now Clippers Assistant Coach Sam Cassell, but does Cassell know something about Rivers that the Wizards are taking a little bit of a risk as a player? Who knows, a solid 10 to 11 points every night off the bench would be great addition for the team, but if he is not able to produce those kind of numbers, it may be a long season for Wall and his crew again off the bench.
Next up for the Wizards: Summer League play begins this weekend in Las Vegas. Look for their roster to compete past the weekend and a chance to see what Troy Brown Jr. really has in the cards for this upcoming season.