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Why Lakers should try to write the Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers should remind Los Angeles Lakers quite a bit of another player they added to the buyout market. When they were 4-6, got a brutal stretch on their schedule and met the real possibility that Head Coach Luke Walton could be fired, they found a defensive-minded veteran with ties to the Los Angeles area. Tyson Chandler was a revelation for the Lakers, immediately improving their bench units, protecting the rims and giving them several additional possessions per game through its offensive rebounding. Lakers are 1 4-6 since and less needed this kind of transformative presence. Chandler quickly became a few simple tweaks. The recently purchased rivers represent a perfect example of one of these smaller tweets. He bought out of the Phoenix Suns, and although he is currently expected to write with Memphis Grizzlies, there is nothing on paper yet. Lakers should look to add him while they have the chance. Rivers are not a perfect player. He dribbles too much and has a higher opinion of his own talent than he should. But what he can do is more or less what the Lakers need. He can defend. Most metrics point to the peak of the rivers coming during the 2015-16 season at the end of the floor, and the numbers support the idea that at one point he was almost a stopper. He held opponents to a field goal percent more than five points lower than an average defender that year, per NBA.com and he reached a…

Austin Rivers should remind Los Angeles Lakers quite a bit of another player they added to the buyout market. When they were 4-6, got a brutal stretch on their schedule and met the real possibility that Head Coach Luke Walton could be fired, they found a defensive-minded veteran with ties to the Los Angeles area. Tyson Chandler was a revelation for the Lakers, immediately improving their bench units, protecting the rims and giving them several additional possessions per game through its offensive rebounding. Lakers are 1

4-6 since and less needed this kind of transformative presence. Chandler quickly became a few simple tweaks.

The recently purchased rivers represent a perfect example of one of these smaller tweets. He bought out of the Phoenix Suns, and although he is currently expected to write with Memphis Grizzlies, there is nothing on paper yet. Lakers should look to add him while they have the chance.

Rivers are not a perfect player. He dribbles too much and has a higher opinion of his own talent than he should. But what he can do is more or less what the Lakers need. He can defend. Most metrics point to the peak of the rivers coming during the 2015-16 season at the end of the floor, and the numbers support the idea that at one point he was almost a stopper. He held opponents to a field goal percent more than five points lower than an average defender that year, per NBA.com and he reached a career-high 1.3 Defensive Win Shares.

The Clippers were allowed only 102.1 points per 100 possessions in their time on the floor that year, identical to the year’s No. 1 defense (Oklahoma City Thunder) and just behind the third-party defeat of the Indiana Pacers. It says something in itself … but it’s even more impressive when you think he played less than a quarter of his record with Chris Paul this season and less than half of them with De And Jordan. Rivers played when his team’s best defender sat and still kept them on an elite level. When you look like this, it’s not hard to understand how he did it.

Rivers were at best a defensive threat. A complete pest that poked and prodded in the league best just scored to get in the head but not enough to create excessive mistakes.

However, he has not been the player consistently in a few years, and it is worth asking why. He has generally been healthy, save some minor ankle injuries and is still young at only 26. But two factors could have led to a decline: minutes and money. Rivers played 21.9 minutes per game in their first full Clipper season. The total balloon to over 33 in his third, and his offensive role then grew. Rivers were often asked to be a primary initiator with bench sets. When large defenders take on larger workloads, their work tends to suffer on the side of the floor. There is a reason Kawhi Leonard does not win this year’s Defensive Player of the Year anymore. He is quite busy doing other things. To a lesser extent, it was true for rivers.

But the three-year deal that his father signed him for the summer of 2016 did not help. Rivers were No. 1 recruiting in his high school class and a lottery picked up by Duke, but almost fell off the NBA radar during his first seasons. He recovered from there as a defender because he must. Fringe players do not earn enough opportunities for crimes to live there. But when rivers had been paid, it’s not hard to imagine that his motivation deteriorated defensively. He had earned NBA validation and returned to the habits that made him a top recruitment and draft team in the first place.

None of these seems likely to continue on the Lakers. Los Angeles does not have a few minutes to offer right now, but it should change in the near future when they eventually buy Kentavious Caldwell-Pope . Lakers are trying to make the right of their veteran shooter, who is looking for a bigger role. Rivers may not have the luxury at this time in their career. Getting 20 minutes off the bench on a competitor is probably his clearest way to a new store next season. Overdue contracts create defenders each year. Ariza is perhaps the most remarkable example in the latest NBA story, and it played a role in the Lakers quest for him.

Rivers would not have a huge load offensive. He would be asked to do, essentially, what Caldwell-Pope does: finish in transition and make pointers. He is no electoral shooter, but he has worked in a decent one in recent seasons. He made 37.5 percent of his three-point trials during his last two Clippers seasons, and he made it on a wildly effective shot profile. After spending only 26.7 percent of their field goals, try on three points in their first three seasons, the rivers flopped to 42.9 percent during their last two Clippers seasons and almost 55 percent in his short Wizards stint. Klay Thompson is not as effective in his shooting, and if the Lakers really want to allow Brandon Ingram to live in the long-wolf floor, they must compensate for overall shooting conditions elsewhere.

Rivers are by way the perfect foil for LeBron James . Like George Hill last season, rivers are a major scorer who does not need the ball much to be effective. At 6 & # 39; 4 & # 39; & # 39; with a 6-point spell, he could actually act as a reasonable fax to the Lonzo Ball of the bench. If the Lakers want to keep their defensive plans no matter what, then it’s more meaningful to play the shorter Rajon Rondo as the nominal back-up protection. Of course, James is the real backup backup. The Lakers have been successful in their minutes on the bench with Ball’s. One of them should always remain on the floor to drive the crime, and Ingram will also make his fair share of point forwarding. A back-impact backup like Rivers is more meaningful than Rondo, even before joining in his superior shot.

Rivers are not essential for the Lakers. It is especially true if they decide to hold Caldwell-Pope and Rondo, both of which wear more league in the league, but none of them fit as well in this specific list as Rivers do. If the Lakers pursue him, it is because they have acknowledged what is and is not working on their team already. If they do not, it is because they are still dedicated to mounting pins in square holes.

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