Friday, June 29th, 2012 at 12:10 pm  |  33 responses

Austin Rivers Excited to Play With Anthony Davis in New Orleans

New Orleans Hornets fans had to be feeling pretty good about how their team did in the NBA Draft last night. Tenth pick Austin Rivers says he can’t wait to start hooping along the top overall draftee, Anthony Davis. From the Times-Picayune: “A year ago Rivers and Davis were the consensus Nos. 1 and 2 rated prep players in the country. They posed for the cover of SLAM Magazine together, teamed on the West squad at the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game, and then parted to star at two of college basketball’s blueblood programs, Kentucky and Duke. Today they’ll board Tom Benson’s private jet for the first of countless flights together to New Orleans as Hornets teammates. They will be paired together for the rest of their careers, for better or worse, until free agency or trade do they part. ‘We’re friends,’ Rivers said. ‘… The fact that we get to go to a new place and embark on this journey together is pretty cool.’ Hornets Coach Monty Williams said Tuesday he wanted to add two qualities to his roster in this NBA draft: length around the basket; and a scorer to complement Eric Gordon in late-game situations. Davis was a no-brainer. Depending on who you talk to, he’s the next Bill Russell, Kevin Garnett or Tim Duncan. Rivers, though, required a little mojo. When Toronto surprisingly took Terrence Ross at No. 8 it opened the door for Rivers to New Orleans. [...] ‘I think anybody can mesh with Anthony Davis,’ Rivers said. ‘We’re already great friends, so I think that on the court it is going to be even more natural.’ [...] The crowd of a couple off thousand or so erupted when NBA Commissioner David Stern called his name at No. 10. Rivers clearly was the man Hornets fans wanted to pair with the preternatural Davis. ‘This is what we wanted,’ said an ebullient Dell Demps, the team’s general manager. [...] ‘I feel really good,’ Demps said. ‘I think with Davis and his defensive presence, then Austin, with his offensive upside (and) playmaking abilities along with Eric (Gordon). I’m hoping we’re going to be really hard to guard and to score on.’ Then he quickly added a qualifier. ‘These guys are 19,’ Demps said. ‘They’re going to take their bumps and bruises.’”

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    rivers better not mess this up for davis. the hornets are eric gordon’s team and new orleans is AD’s city. this is where he won a championship (with darius miller). he was destined to return here. so if rivers want to treat davis (or miller for that matter) like he did his duke team mates, he better remember who has a ncaa championship, blocking record, player of the year and rookie of the year awards under his belt…should have went with jeremy lamb, but…

  • http://www.bloghoggers.com bloghogger

    ^^^ okay lol… this is a nice stepping stone for the hornets. The hornets were very competitive at the end of the season, and if Eric Gordon can re-sign, Rivers can somewhat ease into a sixth man role or point guard role for the big easy.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Did Demps just say Austin Rivers and playmaking abilities in the same sentence?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Be interesting to see how Rivers and EG coexist and I think Anthony Davis will be more Dwight or Alonzo than KG and Duncan.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    NBA screwed the Bobcats over.

  • bike

    Be interesting to see how Rivers actually works out. On one hand he is a ballsy kid with confidence but on the other hand he really didn’t tear it up at Duke. Came across as a ball hog.

  • Wixurrs

    the Bobcats screwed the Bobcats over.

  • T-Money

    so… the hornest are for real running rivers at the point? laughing out loud. over/under on how many times he’ll look off davis in the post to take a contested 22-footer?

  • LP

    the Bobcats could have traded that pick….MKG, Robinson, or Barnes would have fell to them + they would have had more picks…… Now the pressure is on MKG and JORDAN, when they could have relieved that pressure…


    Everybody keeps saying Rivers didnt tear it up at Duke, o freakin well…Damian lillard went really high and went to Weber st.If Rivers played a season at weber st he would have easily averaged 25+ and nobody would have questioned half the stuff they do.Coach K put the ball n his hands and ran alot of high ball screens and gave him space just like the hornets r gonna do..he basically ran a NBA offense when he was 18 yrs old all this will help him b a GREAT pro…


    Everybody keeps saying Rivers didnt tear it up at Duke, o freakin well…Damian lillard went really high and went to Weber st.If Rivers played a season at weber st he would have easily averaged 25+ and nobody would have questioned half the stuff they do.Coach K put the ball n his hands and ran alot of high ball screens and gave him space just like the hornets r gonna do..he basically ran a NBA offense when he was 18 yrs old all this will help him b a GREAT pro…


    @niq, thats the same thing i said, man. if they needed a playmaker, kendall marshall was still there. and if they wanted to turn a sg into a combo guard, they could’ve had jeremy lamb. he dont need the ball in his hands as much as rivers and he’s a better shooter. dell and monty need to quit all the bs and just admit they drafted him because they’re rivers family friends. everytime somebody asked them about that 10th pick, all they could say is how they’ve known him since he was little…exactly how does this translate to building a team around davis and/or gordon?

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Austin Rivers will be Rookie of the Year and New Orleans got a top 5 pick at number 10. If Austin River went back to school he would have a shot at being the number 1 pick. Duke and Austin Rivers game did not mesh. New Orleans got some good picks. BOOK IT!!

  • Ldub

    @Truth….family friends or not, he still would have been drafted by someone. Rivers is a good player. Good shooter and can create his own shot. He will be able to set up for his teammates…and I dont think he will be as “selfish” in the NBA as he was at Duke. The game is much different and if he wants any PT…he would be wise not to be as ball dominant. Annnnd if youve known someone since they were little, then you can clearly see a potential in them that most people wouldnt based on what they saw in college. You basically have a scouting edge.

  • T-Money

    the seed obviously has never heard of nerles noel and shabbaz muhammad.


    @Ldub, yes. he would have been drafted by SOMEONE, but not 10th overall if “family friends” were the head coach and gm. everything you’re saying rivers can do, jeremy lamb can do and has done it. and if playing “selfishly” is the only way he is known to play (throughout high school and onto college) what makes you think that is going to change in the league and he still contribute offensively? and it is also possible that their judgement of rivers is based solely on them knowing him since he was little and not on realistic examination of his skillset and expected contribution to the team at all. you’re right. that’s his scouting edge. the only reason he’s there. you made my point.

  • Ldub

    How is he going to be ROY when he is playing with AD? Not to mention there are alot of other rooks that will get more PT than him and be able to produce at a higher clip? Beal and MKG mainly.

  • Ldub

    Youve turned it into a negative aspect. I was showing the brighter side of the spectrum. And the mentality changes at the pro level because if not, you end up like steve francis. I doubt that the GM got together with Doc and said we will draft your kid. I see youre theory…but for a franchise that is definitely rebuilding, it wouldnt make sense. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion….its clear that NO didnt want Lamb. There were alot of questionable drafts last night. But I dont feel they drafted Rivers based on family ties. We shall see how well Rivers produces under Monty and next to EG.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    My initial thoughts were that Rivers would be the SG off the bench as a 6th man. But if NO drafted Rivers with the intention of him running the point, then I don’t know what to say. If Rivers averages 5 assists per game, I will be impressed.


    @Ldub, i’m being real. the deciding factor is that the mentality has to be WILLING to change and still operate and produce. and they obviously did get together with rivers whether it be doc or austin (its all the same) and make him a promise. and because of those connections jeremy lamb got snubbed. when a reporter asked monty or the gm about their 10th pick all they talked about was knowing him since he was little…and you’re telling me that had NOTHING to do with it? but like you said it will be interesting to see how monty works this out.

  • Mas

    Rivers will be a good a S. Curry is at the point. The only thing is that Curry can shoot better but the are equally bad on defense. Or maybe he turns out to be a T.Evans type PG. SLAM you got AD’s number wrong on the cover!

  • Heals

    Jordan screwed the Cats over plain and simple. As for the duo (possibly trio), I like it on and off the court. For a team in desperate need of talent and identity NO was able to grab both…

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m really happy for Monty Williams. He will mould Anthony Davis into a defensive machine. The Hornets will be top 5 in ppg allowed (i.e. fewest points) next season.

  • RunNGun

    This is great! We know who’ll be in the lottery again next year!

  • Ldub

    I definitely understand your view point Truth. I guess we will only agree to disagree on the fact as to “why” he was drafted that high and by whome he was drafted by. Everyone makes a promise to a certain player, if they are available at some point in time throughout the draft. Not really supposed to be hey, its nice to know someone is interested in you and your skills. Hopefully he does run the point. He think he is undersized to run the 2. I think if his mentality doesnt change to pass first…he will have a tough time in the L. He kind of resembles Steph Curry. But Steph can shoot the lights out. Wondering if Austin can do that same.

  • Bola

    Before you call Rivers a ballhog. Look at the situation he was. In high school he was the go to guy, his teamamte couldn’t do anything withouth him. That made him the star player and franchise for the school, right? And at college Duke’s system just did not fit Rivers. Let’s see how he does in his first rookie year before labelling him.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7C0vd-L5lg Munky

    The Seed has a thing for selfish ball hogs.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’m not sold on Rivers. AD on the other hand could potentially be a mix of Camby/KG.

  • slamfan4life

    NO stand up!

  • http://www.slamonline.com keep it real

    The hornets are going to be nasty as $hit in about 6 years. Real talk they remind me of the Lakers in 96. Eric Gordon is Eddie Jones! Austin is KOBE and unibrow is Shaq. Duh their games may not be similar just saying the way its all unfolding. Wouldn’t be suprised if they were a d,ynasty in the not so distant future

  • http://blackamericaweb.com charliewinning

    Austin will be the biggest disappointment of this draft. And he’s a ball hog.

  • Ball.A.BabY

    Austin Rivers, has wicked game, he has a few go to moves and he is still young… do any of use remember yourself at 19?? he has the genetics to be great, has a confidence u can’t break.. and if u jump on one of his fakes he will dunk it in the lane… he may not be a top 10 looking pick now, but he has a franchise tag on him in the future… honestly how far is AD going to go as the face of the N.O franchise before it becomes the most disturbing face of the league… no offence as he has great potential 2.. but at least Rivers is marketable.. meaning u need some damn asses sitting and watchin New Orleans

  • cbb_fanatic

    @Ball.A.Baby, All of the players in this draft got game. They may not be as flashy as Rivers, but that’s only because they played with their team mates and allowed them to get better as they progressed as well. How else would Kentucky, North Carolina, and Florida make it that far without them sacrificing part of their game for the betterment of the team? And just because they’re not trash-talking doesn’t mean they don’t have confidence. They choose to showcase their confidence on the court in productivity where it actually matters. As far as marketable, AD is the ONLY franchise player in this draft and for good reason. NCAA Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year, set blocking record, won a championship and is now back playing for the city where it all happened. And you’re saying he’s NOT going to be the face of the franchise? Are you serious? If Rivers is marketable at all at this point, its only because he’s paired with AD thanks to Monty Williams. That’s all.