Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images Doc Rivers is both the coach and president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Clippers.
It's a unique role — he coaches the team and picks the players — and he has been criticized at times for his personnel decisions over the course of the season.
On Thursday he made his most controversial move yet, trading for his son Austin in a move that involved his getting rid of three players.
Austin, just 22, is a third-year point guard who has been a disappointment since getting drafted 10th overall in 2012. As a bench player in New Orleans, he has never averaged more than seven points per game.
In the trade, the Clippers had to give up Reggie Bullock and Chris Douglas-Roberts for salary cap reasons. Both players struggled to get extended minutes under Doc, who is known for preferring to play veterans. The team also waived point guard Jordan Farmar, whose job Austin will ostensibly take.
Farmer and Rivers are similar players. Here are their numbers per 36 minutes:
Farmar: 11.4 points, 10.8 shots, 38.6% shooting, 36.1% 3-point shooting, 0.049 win shares per 48 minutes
Rivers: 11.1 points, 10.4 shots, 38.7% shooting, 28% 3-point shooting, 0.039 win shares per 48 minutes
Farmar is a better 3-point shooter. Rivers is better at getting to the free-throw line.
While Rivers is the younger player who theoretically has more potential, throwing away three players for one who is not provably better than those leaving is an odd move.
The reaction has been pretty unanimous:
That Austin is Doc Rivers' son is just a tangential issue here. The real problem is that the Clippers sacrificed potentially helpful role-players in a move that will neither address the team's key weaknesses (wing defense) nor improve what the team already has.
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