NBA Draft: Why Doc Should Avoid Drafting His Son Austin Rivers at All Costs

Andrew Bock@andrew_bockCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2012

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 16:  Austin Rivers #0 of the Duke Blue Devils answers questions in the locker room after the Blue Devils lose to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 75-70 during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 16, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke’s Austin Rivers is believed to be declaring for the NBA draft after his freshman year, but the Boston Celtics shouldn’t bother to try and draft the son of their head coach Doc Rivers.

There are plenty of reasons not to go after the coach’s son: inexperience, size and the fact that the Celtics need a center more than a hybrid guard, so it’s really a no-brainer.

Rivers should be a decent player in the NBA.  He led Duke in scoring as a freshman, something that hadn’t been done since the days of Johnny Dawkins, but that’s not reason enough to think he’ll succeed playing for his father.

While there is only a small sample size to draw from with regard to father/son tandems in the NBA, none of them have really proved to be wildly successful.  Of course, this isn’t a fair statement, because Koby Karl (no relation to Kobe Bryant) was the only player to play for his father (George).

Yet, what it should suggest is that there has never been a history of players trying to join forces with their fathers.  Without any history, it’s fair to say that it’s not something that would be a difference-maker in the NBA.

And if they did somehow join forces, there could easily be a conflict of interests in rotations and treatment of players versus a player/son.

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Say the Celtics re-sign Ray Allen; could Doc Rivers give his son preferential treatment over the future Hall of Famer?  Likely no, but it’d be a thought in the back of the minds of some folks, allowing for unnecessary distractions to potentially arise.

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 07: Head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics watches as his team takes on the Chicago Bulls at United Center on April 7, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Celtics 97-81. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
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TMZ storylines asides, the Celtics don’t need a shooting guard in the draft; they need a big man.

Illinois’ Myers Leonard or Rivers’ fellow Duke teammate Mason Plumlee would fit much more pressing needs for the Celtics.  The team has had rebounding issues over the past couple of seasons, and Rivers isn’t going to address that area.

The Celtics roster will be fairly wide open, but there will be plenty of 2/3 scorers to select from in the draft.  With their second-pick first-rounder, the Celtics could easily target players like John Jenkins or Doron Lamb to fulfill the hole that Rivers could fill.

Rivers compares to Golden State’s Stephen Curry, a player who exceeded expectations in the NBA, so again, there is a reason to look in his direction, but he’s just not the player the Celtics should target.

Austin Rivers will more than likely reward the team that drafts him.  He has the potential to someday become a quality NBA player, but he doesn’t fit the immediate needs of the Boston Celtics, and he would be better served not playing under his father, where the chance for drama exists.

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