The LA Clippers ended the first father-son, coach-player relationship in NBA history on Tuesday, trading guard Austin Rivers to the Washington Wizards for center Marcin Gortat.
Rivers played three-plus seasons for his father, Doc Rivers, with the Clippers. In a three-team deal, Doc Rivers traded a second-round pick to Boston for Austin in January 2015, but he is no longer running basketball operations with the Clippers. Lawrence Frank is the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, with Michael Winger the general manager.
The Wizards have been searching for trades to move Gortat the past several months.
The Clippers drafted their backcourt of the future on Thursday, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson. Veteran guards Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley will also be back on the roster this season.
Rivers and Gortat are in the final years of their contracts and will become free agents next summer.
After struggling to find his niche in New Orleans to start his NBA career, Rivers, 25, made steady improvement upon joining the Clippers and developed into a legitimate NBA guard. In his final season with the Clippers, he averaged 15.1 points, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals a game. His offensive and defensive productivity grew with every season in Los Angeles.
Rivers delivers the Wizards a legitimate third guard to play behind John Wall and Bradley Beal who can also be a spot starter at both backcourt spots.
“Acquiring Austin gives us another versatile, experienced player who provides scoring and playmaking,” Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement. “He is coming off a career year and his ability to create offense for himself and others will help our second unit and allow us to play a variety of lineups throughout the season.”
Gortat, who took to Instagram to say goodbye to Washington, gives the Clippers a starting-level center should DeAndre Jordan opt out of his $24.1 million contract before Friday’s deadline. Even if Jordan opts in to the deal, the Clippers and Jordan would work together to find a trade out of Los Angeles, preferably well before the February trade deadline.