Duke basketball guard quickly shipped out of New York City

Duke basketball guard Austin Rivers (POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Austin Rivers (POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports) /

The stay in New York City was a quick one for a former Duke basketball guard. 

It was a peculiar decision for former Duke basketball guard Austin Rivers to sign with the New York Knicks this offseason.

Rivers, a veteran guard in the NBA, seems more likely to land with an NBA Championship contender rather than the rebuilding Knicks, but New York has outplayed expectations this season, and it had shifted the former Blue Devil to the bench.

Due to the lack of playing time, Austin Rivers was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a three-team deal prior to Thursday’s NBA Trading Deadline.

The trade was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and the Knicks received Terrance Ferguson while George Hill was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers, who are coached by Austin Rivers’ father, Doc.

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Austin Rivers played in a total of 21 games for the Knicks and averaged 21.0 minutes, 7.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 43.0-percent from the floor and 36.4-percent from three-point range.

In terms of competitiveness, Rivers will be taking a step down as the Thunder are 19-25 and sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference while the Knicks are 22-22 and in 6th place in the Eastern Conference.

Duke basketball product looking for more playing time

Entering Oklahoma City, Austin Rivers will certainly be looking for more playing time on a team that is in the midst of a clear rebuild and is not threatening for a playoff spot like the Knicks are.

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Rivers signed a three-year deal with the Knicks prior to the start of the 2020-21 season and could be another trade or buyout candidate once the season comes to a close, so he could latch on with a contender.

The Thunder host the Boston Celtics on Saturday, March 27 at 9:00pm EST.

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