Rockets News

The Houston Rockets sign Austin Rivers to help guard depth

By Michael Knight
WASHINGTON, DC -  NOVEMBER 26: Austin Rivers #1 of the Washington Wizards shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets on November 26, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC -  NOVEMBER 26: Austin Rivers #1 of the Washington Wizards shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets on November 26, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets needed some guard depth with the loss of CP3 to a hamstring injury, so they called on an old enemy to help take some minutes at guard.

The Houston Rockets have officially signed Austin Rivers to come in and help the team out while they deal with the injury to Chris Paul. The free agent guard was recently released by the Suns after being involved in the Trevor Ariza to the Wizards trade.

Rivers will be taking some of the minutes left by CP3, which is pretty interesting to see. The two are former teammates and he once backed up in Los Angeles with the Clippers. They reportedly had some issues there and certainly did last season with the whole “secret tunnel” situation.

Apparently, though, there are no hard feelings about anything with this signing. Adrian Wojnarowski reported both the signing and this here:

Clearly there’s some unpleasant Clippers history between Paul and Rivers but sources say there were no objections to signing Rivers with the Rockets needing backcourt depth. Paul’s projected to have a 2-3 week absence with a strained hamstring. https://t.co/Rzh1YUakii

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2018

Let’s hope when Chris Paul returns that there are no issues between the two. Rivers had a solid season last year and can really help the Rockets in the next 2-4 weeks as well as the rest of the season.

The Numbers

Austin Rivers certainly isn’t having a season to remember so far. However, he was playing in Washington in a pretty bad offensive system that didn’t really utilize what he’s good at, which is scoring and being a decent defender when focused.

This year, Austin Rivers has seen his shot attempts go down by around half as he backed up John Wall/Bradley Beal. He wasn’t particularly effective in that role, averaging just 7.2 points a game on 31.1% shooting from deep.

Last year, though, he had a bigger role with the Clippers. In 33.7 minutes a game for a solid LA team, he started and averaged 15.1 points a game on a pretty nice 37.8% shooting from 3. While he probably won’t have that same role offensively in Houston, he can expect to be in a system where he is encouraged to shoot when he’s open. Rivers can also help on the defensive end, a place where he’s been pretty solid over his career.

Next. The Rockets win statement game against Spurs

The Houston Rockets will be getting some much-needed depth with the signing of Austin Rivers. While he may not be the most popular or the greatest player in the world, he can help with depth and should be a decent addition to the team as the Rockets look to stay afloat in the Western Conference without Chris Paul.

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