NBA Rookie Draft Ranking and Fantasy Outlook: Austin Rivers

The New Orleans Hornets selected guard Austin Rivers with the tenth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Rivers’ career stats at Duke:

34 Games, 15.5 points, 2.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 43.3 FG%, 65.8 FT%

Fantasy Advice:  Austin Rivers is the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers and many people believe that much of his hype was based on name alone.  While some of that may be true, the guy still has a pretty solid set of skills.  He is a dynamic scorer who can create his own offense off the dribble and works best with the ball in his hands.

He’s primarily a shooting guard, but that spot is already covered in New Orleans by Eric Gordon.  Rivers will either have to work  hard at developing his playmaking skills to pick up minutes at point guard or he’s going to be more of a sixth man type player.

The book on Rivers is that he’s a mediocre jumpshooter and doesn’t play much defense.  The Hornets eventually hope to convert him into a point guard, but he had more turnovers than assists in his year at Duke, so it remains to be seen if this will happen.  Rivers does have a good handle and can take it to the basket with the best of them, but if defenses play off him and force him to rely on his jumpshot, he’s going to be in trouble.  He’s also got a bit of a weakness with his free throw shooting, only managing about 65%.

Rivers’ fantasy value solely depends on what the Hornets decide to do with Jarrett Jack and whether or not they feel comfortable moving Rivers into the point guard spot.  My guess is that he comes off the bench and has a hard time picking up the offense in his first year at the NBA level, which pretty much makes him a late round fantasy flier.


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