Doc Rivers says trading son Austin was “the right thing for all of us”

Just days before the free agency period began, the Los Angeles Clippers agreed a trade with the Washington Wizards to offload Austin Rivers in exchange for Marcin Gortat.

The deal ended the guard’s three-year stint with LA and concluded his time being coached by his father, Doc Rivers.

As the president of basketball operations, Doc signed his son in 2015 but in the first offseason since being stripped of those duties, the front office decided to part with Austin.

But it’s not something the head coach is too disappointed about and declared that the move suited all parties.

“It was the right thing for all of us,” he told TMZ Sports. “He’ll be well. He’ll be good there.”

Out of his father’s shadows

Rivers echoed his father’s thoughts during his introductory press conference with the Wizards earlier this week.

He’s happy that the move to the nation’s capital gives him an opportunity to contribute to a winning team.

“This is a great opportunity for me to come here and just compete and play without all of that stuff that comes with it,” Rivers said, per the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner.

“But more importantly, just being on a playoff team, man. That’s the most fun. I mean, not making the playoffs this year was horrendous. … Just being on a playoff team is very exciting for me.”

The 25-year-old enjoyed something of a breakout year last season after averaging a career-high 15.1 points, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 42.4 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from three-point range.

Throughout his time with the Clippers, he had to deal with a narrative that he was only on the team because of his father and was lucky to still be in the league.

For that reason, he’s had to work harder than most players to prove that he belongs in the NBA and he’s shown gradual improvement in recent years.

The former Duke product finally showed his worth last year and can only get better from here.

Getting out of the shadow of his father will allow him to concentrate solely on his basketball and become a reliable scoring threat off the bench for Washington.

With LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers, it has altered the landscape in the Eastern Conference.

Rivers believes the race to get to the finals is now wide open and expects the Wizards to be one of the teams fighting to get out of the east.

“This training camp, this season is just gonna be a different type of mindset,” Rivers said, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

“[Before] you would play and you know you’re going to run into Golden State. Here, in the East, it’s really like everybody can get there.

“You can go to the Finals or the conference finals if you’re a playoff-calibre team, which this team is.”

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