Austin Rivers, Minnesota Timberwolves
While Austin Rivers may not possess the same level of instant scoring impact as Nunn and Burks, he can still serve as a valuable depth piece for a playoff team. As an 11-year NBA veteran, Rivers has played a significant amount of high-level basketball and has excelled in his various roles.
Throughout his career, Rivers has maintained an average of nearly 35% shooting from three-point range on approximately three attempts per game. He has experience playing alongside ball-dominant players like James Harden and Chris Paul, understanding how to contribute to games even without the ball in his hands. Rivers brings a wealth of playoff experience, having played numerous postseason games while maintaining his shooting efficiency.
Most notably, Rivers’ 6’4″ height provides valuable defensive versatility, particularly against larger teams. Given the smaller backcourt of Garland and Mitchell, Rivers offers a viable alternative option against opponents with a significant size advantage. Although Rivers may have the lowest likelihood of becoming a consistent rotational player among the players mentioned, his experience and versatility make him a valuable chess piece in postseason matchups.
Considering his limited playing time with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the previous season, it is likely that Rivers can be acquired for the minimum salary. Compared to Raul Neto’s performance this past season, Rivers presents a better option due to the additional dimension he brings. While Neto performed adequately, his style of play closely resembled that of Rubio, which limited the lineup’s creativity, a crucial factor for making deep playoff runs.