After the trade deadline came and went, the buyout market quickly took shape and the biggest prizes quickly made decisions on their new homes. LaMarcus Aldridge headed to Brooklyn to join fellow buyout star Blake Griffin and the Nets Big 3, while Andre Drummond headed to L.A. to join the Lakers in a move that came as little surprise to anyone who had followed the reporting ever since Drummond was removed from the rotation in Cleveland.
A few smaller moves also got made in buyout land, with Jeff Teague signing with the Bucks to reunite with Mike Budenholzer and provide a bit of point guard depth. The biggest name that didn’t sign quickly was Austin Rivers, who was dealt in the George Hill trade from New York to OKC and promptly waived. Rivers had a solid start to the season for the Knicks but fell out of the rotation as he dealt with an ankle injury and Derrick Rose arrived in Manhattan.
On Wednesday, Rivers appeared to find a fairly snug fit for a new team, as Shams Charania reported he and the Denver Nuggets were in “serious talks” to bring in the veteran guard after learning of Jamal Murray’s torn ACL.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 14, 2021
Rivers, obviously, isn’t a replacement for Murray’s production, but he is a capable scorer and can help lift the Denver bench unit as they look to shuffle their rotation now that they know they’ll be going through the rest of the season without their star guard. That Rivers was still out there was fairly fortunate for the Nuggets, as he’s a solid scoring guard, capable spot up shooter, and gives them another ball-handler who has recent playoff experience in Houston. It’s not going to change the Nuggets back into title contenders in the eyes of anyone, but with a sudden need to fill backcourt minutes, they could do an awful lot worse than bringing Rivers on board.