Duke basketball: NBA franchise adds another former Blue Devil to roster

Duke basketball guard Austin Rivers (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Austin Rivers (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

Another former Duke basketball player is heading to the Twin Cities. 

Just weeks after the Minnesota Timberwolves had landed Duke basketball forward Wendell Moore in the 2022 NBA Draft the franchise added another Blue Devil.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Timberwolves were signing Austin Rivers to a one-year contract.

Tim Connelly, the President of Basketball Operations of the Minnesota Timberwolves, orchestrated the signing of Rivers to Minnesota and he also inked the Duke icon to a contract when he was with the Denver Nuggets in the same role last offseason.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will be the seventh team in which Austin Rivers plays for in his career as he has spent time with the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, and Nuggets.

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Rivers is averaging 8.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in his NBA career as the former lottery pick shoots 41.8-percent from the floor and 34.9-percent from 3-point territory.

Minnesota qualified for the NBA Playoffs last season after making it though the Play-In Tournament but fell in six games to the Memphis Grizzlies in the First Round.

Minnesota Timberwolves need Duke basketball guard to make impact

The Timberwolves made a splash earlier in the offseason after acquiring Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert in exchange for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Walker Kessler, the No. 22 pick in 2022 Draft.

Utah also received 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029 first-round picks in addition to a pick swap in 2026.

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Minnesota will be looking for Austin Rivers to help bolster its back court, specifically defensively, with the departure of Patrick Beverley and continuing development of D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards.

The loaded Western Conference will not be easy to navigate this upcoming season but the Timberwolves continue to be one of the young, up-and-coming teams in the league that will cause problems for the favorites to win the NBA Finals next year.

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