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Report: Austin Rivers leaving Duke to enter NBA draft

Mar 23, 2012, 11:52 AM EDT

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Lehigh v Duke Getty Images

This is not really a surprise to anyone, it’s just going to lead to a lot of speculation about how he can land on the Celtics.

Austin Rivers, the freshman starting point guard at Duke and son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, is going to sign with an agent and declare for the NBA draft, reports Even before he signed at Duke he was expected to be a one-and-done.

Rivers is considered a solid first round pick — DraftExpress has him at No. 17 right now. He played the point at Duke, which was good because he had been the man in high school and needed to learn how to set up teammates and work within a system. He struggled with that early in the season but improved.

He has a good shot and has a crossover that can create space for it. He can get in the lane. He is not however an elite athlete. At the NBA level he is either a score-first PG or more likely an undersized two. He comes in with some confidence and plays the game with a high IQ, like you’d expect from a coach’s son.

He’s not going to have a Kyrie Irving rookie season coming out of Duke, but the guy can put the ball in the hole and last time I checked that is the name of the game.

  1. zblott - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Prima donna much? Rivers’ game was easy to break down before he ever even got to Duke, and we just had a year affirming that he’s not a leader and is totally overrated. You’ll want to hope he isn’t selected to hijack your team’s offense.

    • emerson12345 - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      “but the trick was that I used nothing but free, online scouting services before any college film or stats were available.”

      translation: did no real thinking of my own

      • zblott - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        Tell me that evaluation from a year ago isn’t pretty much dead-on now that we’ve all seen him play a season of college ball. The only difference is that now we KNOW he’s overrated and PRECISELY why. That’s why a guy who was supposed to be able to play point guard is now only listed as a shooting guard (doesn’t have the head to control anything), and the idea that he’s a top-10 talent completely left the building once he started playing on a large enough scale that everyone could see the problems.

        Check out his projected draft stock over time:

      • emerson12345 - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        First off… i like your BLOG.. i like to see guys put their takes in ink so they cant go back on them later.

        BUT… you cant say that your takes are gold…or even silver… or even copper

        i just looked at your “2011 NBA Draft: Undervalued Studs and Overvalued Duds” post

        and from what i can see you were correct on Faried being better than expected…and Fredette being worse……..other than that it was a push or wrong

        i have you wrong on Jenkins?..morris..lighty..Knight..Walker..and Shumpert…not a great %

        its just hard to get behind a guy that says himself that he only reads others opinions.

      • emerson12345 - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        oh and no one ever thought he would be a PG… Im a WOLVES fan and i would drive to the airport and pick him up if we draft him. He is exactly what we need

      • zblott - Mar 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        I entered this response yesterday evening, but it still hasn’t posted, so I’ll try to post it again:
        1) Plenty of people thought/think Rivers would be a PG. Check out this line from the Bleacher Report from less than a week ago: “One could argue that Rivers’ stock couldn’t be higher after this breakout season, he knows the league because of his father (Celtics coach Doc Rivers) and the need for point guards is huge in the NBA right now.”
        2) You obviously missed the part of my statement where I made it clear that AR’s game is so easy to peg, scouts accurately did so before he even played college – not that the final analysis of Rivers was done in the fall. That’s why I said that this year AFFIRMED what the scouts said about his deficiencies while he was still in HS. I only read others’ opinions for that one article which was clearly done as an experiment. It was stated as such in its title, so I kinda thought readers would pick up on that and not assume a year later that that was my final opinion on players now that I’ve seen them in the NCAA for an entire season.
        3) How was I wrong on Jenkins (same eFG% as Kobe, 44 assists to 17 turnovers on limited playing time behind an established backcourt and a lottery pick), Walker (absolutely horrid shooting but still chooses to shoot a lot, barely has more starts than Jenkins even though KW was a lottery pick and supposed to be a starter), Knight (literally every single part of his game is poor except 3-pt shooting, which is barely above the league average), and Shumpert (every single part of his offense is abysmal)? Take hype and headlines out of the equation, and I’m not sure how you think I didn’t peg those 4 as appropriately under/overrated for their draft positions.

  2. Justin - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I don’t follow Duke too much but I think the reason he struggled early is because he was ill-fitted playing the point and this made them switch to playing him at SG and Curry at the point. That is when he started to succeed. I may be wrong but I have read he projects as a SG.

    And how big are we needing to be to play the 2 nowadays? The kid is 6-4 with a 6-7 wingspan!

  3. qdog112 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    He didn’t highjack Duke’s offense. He came in and took it by the throat. He’s all they had, among an overrated group of misfits and role players. Duke is 5-27 next year without him.

    • andyhr17 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      Yes, because a powerhouse like Duke will be unable to recruit and fall apart next year…. Idiot.

      • Justin - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        That reply cracked me up.

      • qdog112 - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:03 AM

        Duke is no powerhouse. Sans the refs and the reputation, they are middle of the pack – SEE: Leigh

  4. lakerluver - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    He ain’t all that.

  5. cup0pizza - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Hopefully and probably an NBA bust.

  6. progress2011 - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    This kid is a very, very average player, even at the college level.

    1. Average foot speed ( for a guard )
    2. Average shot ( other than the one game winner against NC but he was shut down in the rematch)
    3. Average jumping
    4. Average physical development. He still has a young boys body….probably because thats what he is.

    This kid should stay in school, finish developing his game and his body to compete against the very strong, fast and quick guards at the next level.

    He will be burried on someones bench as a favor to his daddy…..At Best.

  7. thatguywhoisactuallyamiamisportsfan - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    He’s young and he has the intangibles. If he’s developed correctly, Rivers can be something. It honestly may be the best for him and his dad’s career that they get him. Looks a lot like Monta Ellis and I’m sure the Celtics could use that scoring.

  8. glink123 - Mar 24, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    yet another Dukie tweener. too small to play SG, too slow to play PG. He’s Bobby Hurley, without the assists. Chris Duhon, with 3pt range. Jay Williams, without a motorcycle.

  9. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects - Mar 24, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    this kid would benefit the most to stay at duke and learn. as a unc fan i’m glad he’s leaving; he would give us a few more headaches, i’m sure. he could be a great college player…but the nba? i don’t know. i don’t see it. cannot imagine him being a quality nba player.

  10. denisceo - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Hands down, this guy is over rated. He might be the son of an NBA coach, truth be told, he is getting bad advicE. I would not draft this kid at all. NBA GM’s pay attention.. This kid is not worth a first round draft pick. As a matter of fact, he reminds me of the kid from KAnsas, that’s his name . Who the F is he?? That’s right, he ate for the GrizzilieS. He is a bum, he is a waste of bench space.. He was a one and done. That’s him, that bum! This is why, the NBA is WHAck.. Fools like this bum.. Austin Rivers. Its kids in high school, who would have performed better in a win or lose situation better than this spoiled coaches son.

    I would be willing to take George Karl’s son anyday than this over hyped fool. I don’t care, who his dadday is.. Yeah I said . NBA GM’s dont draft this fool. Another Xavier Henry in the making. NBA GM’s do not know how to scout players.. I will b willing to pick Lenny Cooke over this fool. A bust in the making. I only recall 1 shot that this guy ever made.. It’s gonna b his last game winning shot.

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