On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Clippers brought to an end the first ever father-son, head coach-player relationship the NBA has seen when they traded Austin Rivers for the Washington Wizards’ Marcin Gortat.
Rivers played just over three seasons for the Clippers and his father Doc Rivers. In a deal involving three teams, the Clippers traded their second-round pick to the Celtics for Austin Rivers in January of 2015. However, Doc Rivers does not run the basketball operations for the Clippers any longer.
At this time Lawrence Frank is the president of basketball operations for the Clippers, while Michael Winger is the team’s general manager.
For the last several months, the Wizards front office has been looking for trades to move their center Gortat.
Both Gortat and Rivers are in the last year of their contracts, which means they will be free agents following the 2019 NBA Finals.
Last Thursday, the Clippers used the draft to establish their future backcourt when they chose Jerome Robinson and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. In addition, veteran guards Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic will return for the upcoming season.
After he struggled to find his place with the New Orleans Pelicans to begin his career in the NBA, Rivers, who is 25, steadily improved after becoming a Clipper and is now a legitimate guard at the NBA level.
During last season with Los Angeles, Rivers averaged 15.1 points, 4.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. In each season with the Clippers, his productivity on both offense and defense improved.
Rivers posted a huge thank you to the fans and teammates on his Instagram page. He added that he and his father, who he called pops, had done something never before done in the sport and that he was grateful for the time he was able to play for his father as well as the Clippers.
The Wizards now have a legitimate guard to back up the likes of Bradley Beal and John Wall.
Gortat, who said goodbye to his fans and teammates in Washington through Instagram as well, gives his new team a talented center who is a legitimate starter if DeAndre Jordan decides to opt out of his contract of $24.1 billion prior to the deadline on Friday.
If Jordan decides to opt in, then he and the Clippers would likely work together to find a place to trade him and most likely well before the trade deadline of February.