Knicks Rumors: Austin Rivers Candidate for Buyout If NY Can't Find Trade

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2021

New York Knicks guard Austin Rivers (8) brings the ball up court in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The New York Knicks could buy out veteran guard Austin Rivers if they can't find a trade suitor for him before Thursday's deadline, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe

Per Lowe, the Milwaukee Bucks are a prime candidate to sign him in such a scenario to replace D.J. Augustin, who was traded in the P.J. Tucker deal.

Rivers, 28, has fallen out of the Knicks rotation and hasn't played a game for the team since Feb. 13. Instead, players like Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks, Frank Ntilikina have seen more minutes for Tom Thibodeau, while both Derrick Rose and Elfrid Payton will get playing time once they're cleared to play.

He's also been away from the team recently due to the birth of his child.

In February, Rivers seemed to imply that he was expecting the Knicks to trade him following the acquisition of Rose. 

"As long as I'm here, I'm here. I can't control if I'm traded today, tomorrow or the next day," he told reporters. "What I can control is how I am as a player and what I can bring to this team every day. That's being ready at all times no matter if my name is called or not and to help the young, young guys be ready to play."

He added: "Obviously there's been stuff about me being moved to other places. With all this kind of up in the air right now, my thing is, as long as I'm a Knick, just to be professional. I don't know what can happen today or tomorrow or next week or the week after that. Every day that I'm here I'm always going to be all in."

He's averaged 7.3 points and two assists per game, appearing in 21 overall contests. For his career, he's averaged 9.1 points per game and is a 34.9 percent shooter from three. 

He would make sense for contenders like the Bucks, Lakers or Philadelphia 76ers looking to add perimeter scoring and ball-handling off the bench.