Austin Rivers is one of those players who spent time with the New York Knicks, but they weren’t around for long, so it’s almost as if they were never there. The guard arrived in NYC via a sign-and-trade in 2020 and played in only 21 games before he was traded to the Thunder, where he was waived.
On Instagram Live in August 2022, Rivers revealed his biggest career regret involved his Knicks stint.
He said he felt he was playing well and echoed the same sentiment on ‘The Bill Simmons Podcast’ episode that dropped on Thursday, September 20. When asked what trade “hurt him the most,” Rivers quickly said the Knicks.
"“I was having some really good success there early on. It felt like the whole time I was there, they were kind of waiting for me to either not play well, or something to happen so they could bring in Derrick [Rose]. That’s just how I felt. I understand that was Thibs’ guy. Thibs has always been a Derrick Rose guy and I totally understand that, he won an MVP under him. I was brought there and from my understanding, he wanted Derrick from the beginning and Leon Rose kind of went in my direction. When I came there, it just didn’t feel like I was every really wanted, I don’t know. It just felt like the cards were stacked against me on that one.”"
Rivers added he’s still “salty” about not getting to play in front of Knicks fans, as his brief time in the city happened a few months after the COVID-19 pandemic began. At least he’ll be remembered for the 23 points he scored against the Jazz in a 112-100 Knicks win, where he shot 5-of-7 from three.
Rivers dealt with a couple of injuries when he was in New York, but Derrick Rose was the better option for the Knicks. The former MVP averaged 14.9 points to close the regular season and 19.4 points per game in New York’s first-round playoff series against Atlanta.
In other Knicks news, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future is a hot topic around the NBA. If he requests a trade before entering free agency in 2025, New York could be one of the top teams engaged in talks with Milwaukee. SNY’s Ian Begley speculated on how the Knicks could be planning to approach the Antetokounmpo situation:
"If I had to guess, I’d assume that team president Leon Rose & Co. will make moves with Giannis in mind. But I don’t think the Knicks will take a “Giannis or bust” approach over the next 18 months. Right or wrong, Rose’s Knicks have shown in the past that they aren’t married to the idea of acquiring any one player (see the Donovan Mitchell trade talks)."
More Knicks news
- The New York Times published a profile on Knicks owner James Dolan on September 20, where he discussed his new Sphere project and what it’s like to own two professional teams.
- The start of the 2023-24 season is a little over a month away. Here’s a complete guide on how to watch the Knicks.
- On Wednesday, the Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Buddy Hield and Indiana were working on a trade (subscription required) after the two sides couldn’t agree to an extension.
- Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn said on the ‘Celtics Beat’ podcast that 2023 Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon is “angry with the team” for including him in trade talks this offseason.
- CBS Sports released its latest edition of the Top 20 NBA players under 25, headlined by Luka Doncic. RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and Quentin Grimes didn’t make the list.