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NBA Draft: Scouts’ take on Duke’s Austin Rivers

Jun 20, 2012, 7:53 PM EDT

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Lehigh v Duke Getty Images

Austin Rivers has been moving up draft boards as he’s worked out for teams the past couple weeks, which pretty much assures his father will not coach him next season.

Rivers is an interesting prospect — he has skills, he can put the leather thing in the round thing, he has an NBA-ready crossover, he comes with some real swagger. He plays with the IQ of a coach’s son. But that swagger can lead to a shoot first and ask questions later mentality, and when Rivers gets to the NBA he is no longer going to be the best guy on his team. He’s a bit of a tweener guard. Can he adjust and fit in?

As teams work him out, his talent is winning out over those concerns. Look at what a couple of scouts told when they asked about Rivers (who is never going to fall to the Sixers at No. 15, by the way):

“I think he’ll be an outstanding pro player. He can get his own shot any time. He strikes me as a guy who really had a dream to get to the NBA, and be a big-time talent in the NBA. We’ll have to wait and see how it translates. He’s a very talented kid.”

Scout number two has more concerns, but not many.

Kind of a combo guard. I think he’s played more 2 (i.e., shooting guard) than 1 (i.e., point guard) most of his life. I think he’s going to have to make a little bit of a transition, and be a more willing passer. I think he’s a capable passer; I just think his mindset is to always score. I think because of his size it might be a little bit tougher on our level. He would become a better scorer if he would pass a little more; he’d be more of a threat. I like him. He’s tough. He’s very confident. He’s very good with the ball.”

My only question is what is Doc going to say when his son hits the dagger to beat him one night?

  1. franciscomc68 - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    I think he’s going to be great, maybe struggles at first but when he get the confidence he is going to be a great player,, maybe a Lou Williams type of SG, a scorer but a good one.

  2. lakerluver - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    I just don’t know about this kid. To me he seems like a dude who thinks he’s a lot better than he actually is.

    • soflasfinest - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      You need to watch him more then. Kids legit no doubt

  3. stropcity - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Did “Scout number two” say anything that anyone reading this article didn’t already know?

  4. jthammerstix - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    He’s better than you think he is dckluver

    • mannyfresh209 - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:46 PM

      I don’t doubt he has talent but I don’t think he’s going to translate very well in to the NBA. He’ll be a decent player though, no doubt.

  5. diablito0402 - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    He is not tall enough, tough enough and quick enough, o by the way strong enough.. Good bench player.

  6. redstar504 - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I hope he is still around when the Hornets pick at 10 he would pair up great in a backcourt with Gordon. The only issue would be both players are better suited for the SG vs. PG. Gordon was hurt a lot but from what I saw he is an excellent passer who would make a fine PG and there is the added bonus that if Gordon goes down again (with his history pretty much a guarantee) Rivers makes a great backup that can be teamed with a cheep point guard like the one we have in Jarred Jack.

    Either way getting Anthony Davis and Rivers in the first round would be a pretty solid draft. I love the aborted laker trade situation more and more every day, even if I am vehemently opposed to what David Stern did that day it all worked out in the end.

  7. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    I can see him being kinda like Lou Williams.

  8. cosanostra71 - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    He reminds me of Steph Curry

  9. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    this kid is intriguing. he reminds me of a ton of dudes who turn out as NBA bust material. but he also reminds me of a steph curry/russell westbrook hybrid pg/sg.

    one thing for sure, is he is a game changer, for better or worse.

    • borderline1988 - Jun 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      I think he’ll turn out to be an excellent sixth-man type of player, kind of like Harden or Crawford.

      People keep talking about ‘learning to pass’. I think that’s the hardest transition in basketball. Either you have a gift for passing or you don’t. I don’t think Austin Rivers will ever be a player who can average 5+ assists per game, even if he starts as a PG.

      He won’t be a bust though. Anyone who can shoot well and put the ball on the floor will always have a job in the NBA, because if you think about it, there aren’t really that many players who can do both well. There’s plenty of prospects who can dribble and get to the rim (like a Tyreke Evans), and there’s plenty of pure shooters out there (Steve Novak, James Jones, etc.), but very few are good at both.

      In my opinion, that’s what made Ray Allen so good. He was an incredible shooter obviously, but he wasn’t just a wait, catch and shoot guy. He could also come off screens and shoot, or take one dribble, pull-up and shoot, or go all the way to the rim (in his earlier days anyways).

  10. zblott - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Rivers has terrible shot selection, pass selection, and concentration on defense. And oh yeah, he’s a total prima donna.

    Check out what abilities Rivers and other preps will ACTUALLY bring to the league with them:

  11. 00maltliquor - Jun 21, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    A lot of you doubters are going to be red in the face when he pans out to be one of the best, if not the best in this draft 5 years down the road like I think he should be. He’ll be in the running for R.O.Y. no doubt.

  12. scalfor3 - Jun 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    kid can score. idk if he’ll be an all star, but he’ll stick around and be productive in the nba

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