New Orleans, LA - According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the New Orleans Pelicans are actively shopping guard Austin Rivers as the NBA’s trading deadline closes in. Rivers was the 10th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but hasn’t been able to reach the potential that the Pelicans originally thought that he could reach. There will likely be trade interest from multiple teams, as Rivers still has undeniable talent.
Rivers has played in 40 games this season with the Pelicans, but has yet to start a game this year. He is averaging 5.9 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 rebounds per game. Those numbers have been watered down quite a bit because of the inconsistent role that Rivers has had with the Pelicans all season, but he still hasn’t been able to perform at a consistent level even when getting legitimate minutes.
The Pelicans likely won’t be able to get a deal done, as they still value Rivers very highly. Other teams are not going to want to give up a good trade package in return for a second-year player who simply hasn’t shown the ability to play at a high level. If the Pelicans decide to move him at a reasonable price for a piece that could help them long-term, they might be able to get a deal done.
Rivers is more than capable of playing the shooting guard or point guard positions. Perhaps playing the point guard spot would enable him to play the way that he is comfortable, but he is going to have to figure out how to score in the NBA if he wants to succeed. Rivers has struggled at both creating his shot and finishing the shot that he creates, which is a very bad combination to have.
Overall, this is a very expected piece of news as the trade deadline closes in this week. The Pelicans will take a trade that they feel will help them both now and in the future, but they won’t trade Rivers just to move him. There will be trade interest in Rivers over the next few days, but it is expected at this time that he will remain a Pelican for the time being.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Hoops-Nation.com. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.