The Oklahoma City Thunder and Austin Rivers have officially parted ways.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have waived guard Austin Rivers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 28, 2021
Rivers was acquired in the three-team trade that sent George Hill to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rivers’ 2021 salary was $3.5 million with two non-guaranteed years in 2022 and 2023 that added up to $6.5 million.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania is also reporting that Rivers and the Milwaukee Bucks have strong mutual interest.
The Milwaukee Bucks are leaders to sign Austin Rivers upon clearing waivers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. There’s strong mutual interest between the sides. https://t.co/xnw7aherEe— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 28, 2021
This opens up a roster spot for the Thunder, and a top candidate should be two-way player Moses Brown, who had a 20-20 game against the Boston Celtics.
This news should not be all that surprising. Rivers does not fit this team’s timeline and, at 28 years of age, would not have played much now that the Thunder are focusing on letting their young players play the rest of the season.
The Thunder could have theoretically kept Rivers and try to trade him in the offseason, but it seems like the franchise did not want to make that a priority of theirs and thought it would be easier to bite the bullet and waive him instead.
The Athletic reported that this was the direction that both sides were heading to when OKC acquired Rivers Thursday. Now, three days later, it’s official.
Rivers is averaging 7.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists a game in 21 games with the Knicks this season.