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NBA Rumors: Austin, Doc Rivers Reuniting on Clippers?

Doc Rivers and the Clippers may land Austin Rivers in a deal with the Celtics. All the latest rumors here.

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Check out the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.

Austin, Doc Rivers Reuniting on Clippers?

Boston has discussed a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers to reunite Rivers and his father, Clippers president and coach Doc Rivers, league sources said.

Doc Rivers told reporters on Saturday he’d be open to coaching his son, and several members of the organization, including general manager Dave Wohl and assistant coaches Lawrence Frank and Mike Woodson, have encouraged Doc Rivers to forget the perception of nepotism and take on Austin Rivers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Austin Rivers was a late addition to the three-team Jeff Green deal that included the Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans. He was shipped to Boston as part of the trade, but now it seems that the Celtics are looking to flip him for a second-round pick rather than hold onto him.

The L.A. Clippers are being mentioned as a serious suitor for Rivers, which is interesting since his father Doc is the head coach and president of the team.

Wojnarowski writes that Rivers initially resisted the move, but that other front office members persuaded him to give it some serious thought and “forget the perception of nepotism.” Nothing is imminent, but this is a situation worth watching.

Doc Rivers spoke about the possibility of coaching his son on Saturday, and seemed open to it.

“I think a year ago I probably wouldn’t, but I think I would for sure [now],” Rivers told Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. “I think this team could handle that. He’s a downhill guard, which is something we need, so I certainly would.”

The three-team trade between Memphis, Boston and New Orleans will likely be finalized on Monday, and then talk of a Rivers family reunion will likely heat up even more.

Austin was the 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and he is still just 22 years old, but hasn’t lived up to expectations since entering the NBA. He’s averaging just 6.8 points and 2.5 assists this season.

Knicks Will Be Active As Deadline Approaches

Phil Jackson on trade deadline: “No one should be surprised on what we do from here on [out]… We’ll be active, open, selective” over next month.

via Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders

This season has been a disaster for the Knicks and, at this point, they’re just playing out their schedule and waiting for the campaign to end. They’re no longer playing for anything. Carmelo Anthony will likely end his season early (likely after the All-Star game) and the team will try to land the top pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The focus now shifts to this summer, when the Knicks hope to be serious players in free agency. Phil Jackson has shown that he wants to have as much cap space as possible to work with when he and Anthony are recruiting free agents to New York, which is one reason why J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert were traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers recently and Samuel Dalembert was waived.

Other moves could follow. Don’t be surprised to see some other Knicks veterans traded between now and the Feb. 19 deadline.

Jose Calderon is the most likely to be moved, since he has two more years on his deal (at over $7 million per season each) and that’s money Jackson would love to remove from the books if possible.

This season hasn’t gone as planned for New York, but Jackson hopes he can turn things around with the right mix of free agency signings, trades and draft picks.

Tyrus Thomas Enters D-League Pool

Source confirms that Tyrus Thomas has been added to the D-League player pool as he continues his NBA comeback attempt.

via Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders

Tyrus Thomas is attempting to make an NBA comeback and has turned to the D-League to showcase his game. He worked out for several teams earlier this season, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, but he wasn’t signed. Now, he’s hoping to show that he’s healthy and still able to compete at a high level in the D-League in order to get a call-up and another NBA opportunity.

A number of D-League teams have already expressed interest in Thomas in the 24 hours since he entered his name into the player pool, and he’ll likely join a team early next week. Executives around the NBA are curious to see what Thomas will do and how he’ll look at the D-League level.

This path back to the NBA has worked for a number of players in recent years, including veterans Jamaal Tinsley, Mike James and James Johnson among others.

In October, Thomas opened up to Basketball Insiders and detailed some of the struggles he has been dealing with since his last stint in the NBA ended when he was amnestied, including a serious surgery and a unfortunate divorce. He says he has matured and now he is determined to make the most of this last chance.

“I was 19 years old when I first entered the NBA; it’s no excuse and I’ve owned my mistakes, but whew have I grown a lot,” Thomas said. “Over the last two years, I’ve grown not only as a player but as a person. I now realize the opportunities that, at times, I took for granted. I look back now and I was just a poor kid from South Baton Rouge. I didn’t understand then what I understand now. Everything happened at once: getting amnestied, going through a divorce and making the decision if I wanted to come back and play basketball because of the severity of the surgery. Going through all of that, I definitely grew up. Everyone isn’t given second chances, and I have a legitimate second chance. I can’t let this opportunity slip away.”

Read Thomas’ full interview and watch video of his training here.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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