The Boston Celtics could use another guard following the departure of Marcus Smart. Austin Rivers would love the chance to fill that void.
Rivers, an 11-year NBA veteran, revealed he reached out to Celtics president Brad Stevens about possibly joining the team ahead of the 2023-24 season.
“I had a great talk with Brad actually like a week ago,” Rivers said on Wednesday's episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast.
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The Celtics reportedly expressed interest in signing Rivers earlier in the summer. Simmons, a noted C's fan, brought up Rivers' potential fit on Boston's roster.
“That’s why I called (Brad),” Rivers said. “I told him I’d love to be a part of the team. He said a lot of positive things. We’ll see if that’s something that will come to fruition. I’ve always loved Brad. I’ve always been a fan of him.”
Rivers spent the 2022-23 campaign with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 31-year-old averaged 4.9 points on 43.5 percent shooting (35 percent from 3-point range), 1.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 19.5 minutes through 52 games. He has averaged 8.5 points on 41.9 percent shooting in his career.
The C's are set to enter the new season with Derrick White and Jaylen Brown as their starting backcourt. Malcolm Brogdon and Payton Pritchard presumably will be the team's top two bench guards. Rivers would be a candidate to join as a fifth guard on the roster, though Dalano Banton and Svi Mykhailiuk were recently signed to partially guaranteed deals. JD Davidson and Jay Scrubb are on two-way contracts.
Boston begins its preseason on Oct. 8 against the Philadelphia 76ers. It'll open its regular season on Oct. 25 against the New York Knicks.