NBA Draft Profile: Austin Rivers
- Updated: May 19, 2012
6-4, 203 lbs.
Hometown: Winter Park, FL
STRENGTHS: Yes, even Coach K has fallen victim to the allure of the one-and-done. For the second straight season, Duke will lose a starting freshman guard to the NBA Draft lottery. Austin Rivers might not be Kyrie Irving in the NBA…but he’s pretty close, having averaged 15.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season. Rivers is a tall shooting guard with excellent slashing ability and a sweet jumper. He showed big-time chops in the clutch; waving off teammates and knocking down an iconic game-winning three in Chapel Hill. He’s also got the quickness and tenacity to become a good defender at the next level, and has the ability to play either the 1 or the 2.
WEAKNESSES: Rivers needs to learn how to facilitate more for others if he wants to be successful at the point in the NBA. Too many times in college he tried to go one-on-one when the right move would have been to give up the ball. He may need some serious coaching in order to become a pass-first point guard at the next level. Rivers has also developed a bit of a prima donna tag among scouts, and will have to work to change that image. Learning to become a better teammate on both ends of the floor will be critical, as he hasn’t been known to give everything he has on defense, either.
BOTTOM LINE: Any freshman who can come right in and take over the reigns at Duke has what it takes to ball at any level. Doc Rivers’ kid has the confidence and the ability to become a good scorer in the NBA. He’s also got the skill set to be a quality point guard at the next level, if he learns how to better facilitate for teammates. Rivers is going to be a good NBA guard once he matures.