The decision by the Phoenix Suns to waive Austin Rivers opened the door for the guard to sign with a potential NBA playoff contender. And shortly after word got out that the Suns had made the move, the rumors pointed to exactly that happening. Specifically, one team immediately jumped out, and it was where he was set to go in the original trade which had him leaving the Washington Wizards.
As The Athletic’s Shams Charania first revealed, Rivers was expected to sign with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Interestingly, something happened with Rivers, who began the year with the Wizards, as that no longer seems to be the case. Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian reported Rivers now is not expected to sign with the Grizzlies.
The situation is somewhat eye-opening, as it took less than two hours for the rumor to come apart at the seams, assuming it does wind up not happening. But for what it’s worth, to this point it doesn’t seem to have much to do with Rivers, but more the potential that the reports were overblown.
What Happened With the Austin Rivers-Grizzlies Pairing?
As Charania clarified shortly after the original report, there are 4-5 teams still interested in Rivers. Considering he doesn’t clear waivers immediately and can’t technically be signed, there apparently hasn’t been a formal offer from the Grizzlies.
Going one step beyond that, Herrington revealed in a story on the Rivers situation that the Grizzlies are now no longer expected to sign the guard to a deal.
Contrary to today’s reports, a source with knowledge of the negotiation tells The Daily Memphian that while the Grizzlies considered the matter, the team is not signing Rivers. Unlike on Friday night, when early reporting seemed to reveal some internal confusion among the NBA teams involved in a proposed transaction, this seems merely to be a case of a premature report.
Barring something unforeseen happening, this makes it sound as though the Grizzlies aren’t all that close to working out a deal with the soon-to-be free agent guard. While Rivers may have a handful of potential suitors and Memphis may be on that list, it’s safe to say this is likely headed back to square one. In turn, opening up a few possible destinations for Rivers to sign.