Knicks officially sign Austin Rivers in Rockets sign-and-trade

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Nineteen years after the Knicks acquired Doc Rivers, his son is officially going to wear the jersey, too.

The Knicks formally announced the signing of combo guard Austin Rivers in a sign-and-trade with Houston. The Knicks will obtain the draft rights to overseas guard Sergio Llull and forwards Tadija Dragicevic and Axel Hervelle from the Rockets in exchange for the draft rights to Issuf Sanon.

That’s two more bodies to sign and put into a future trade for cap mathematics — a team has to give back something and the Knicks prefer to throw in a European player than cash. The Knicks agreed to terms with Rivers on Sunday, giving him just one guaranteed year. It’s a 3-year, $10M package with the final two years not guaranteed.

Including two-way player, Jared Harper, and Exhibit 10 signee, Myles Powell, the Knicks bring to camp eight point guards.

Five will fight for the starting job – Rivers, Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr. and first-round pick Immanuel Quickley.

austin rivers signs with knicks after rockets sign-and-trade
Austin RiversGetty Images

There’s only been one other “official” father-son Knicks tandem. Ernie Vandeweghe and Kiki Vandeweghe were the first. Patrick Ewing and Patrick Ewing Jr. and Ernie and Dan Grunfield also wore the jersey but their sons never played a regular-season game – just preseason. Hence, Patrick Jr. and Dan aren’t on the official all-time roster.

The 6-foot-4 Rivers is a former 2012 lottery pick but has turned into something of a journeyman. Last season, Rivers averaged 8.8 points (42.1% FGs and 35.6% 3FGs), 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 23.4 minutes in 68 games. His father now coaches nearby – the Sixers.

Thibodeau was on Doc Rivers’ staff in Boston and always admired his son’s basketball IQ. Doc Rivers played two-plus seasons for the Knicks — from 1992 to 1994.