Clippers trade guard Austin Rivers for center Marcin Gortat

June 26, 2018

The Los Angeles Clippers announced that the team has acquired center Marcin Gortat from the Washington Wizards in exchange for guard Austin Rivers.  Both players are on expiring deals.

Gortat, 34, is a solid veteran big man who will give the Clippers a physical presence in the paint next season.  More importantly, he provides the team with insurance in the event that current starting center DeAndre Jordan opts out of his deal and elects to test the free agent market this offseason.

“We are excited to welcome Marcin Gortat to the Clippers, a respected player that brings years of NBA experience and additional toughness to this team. We’ve been a fan of Marcin’s for some time and this decision will help rebalance the roster by adding another proven big man to the front court,” said Lawrence Frank, President of Basketball Operations. “Austin’s development as a player is a testament to his work ethic and desire to improve. We experienced a lot of success with Austin and are grateful for his contributions during his four seasons with the club.”

Gortat appeared in all 82 games last season for the Wizards, averaging 8.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, while shooting 51.8% from the field in 25.3 minutes. The 6’11” 240-pound center has appeared in 759 career games across 11 NBA seasons with Orlando, Phoenix and Washington holding career averages of 10.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.3 minutes.

Selected 57th overall by Phoenix out of Poland in 2005, Gortat has appeared in 402 games out of a possible 410 regular season games his last five seasons.

Meanwhile, Rivers became somewhat expendable after the Clippers drafted two guards in the lottery last week.  His presence on the roster already was becoming problematic despite the growth in his game, due to his father's role as the team's Head Coach.  In other words, a perception existed that Rivers received preferential treatment and that the team passed up potentially beneficial trades in order to keep him on the roster.  That perception caused the team to restructure its front office, removing coach Doc Rivers from his dual GM duties.

Rivers, 25, appeared in 61 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 15.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 33.7 minutes. The 6’4”, 200-pound guard has appeared in 408 career games across six NBA seasons with New Orleans and L.A., holding career averages of 9.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 24.3 minutes.

Rivers is expected to have a backup role behind starter John Wall in Washington.

By Staff of and news services

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