Austin Rivers, welcome to the Big Easy.
The New Orleans Hornets selected Duke guard Austin Rivers with the No. 10 pick in this year’s NBA Draft after grabbing Kentucky’s Anthony Davis with the first overall pick.
“I love New Orleans more than anything in my life right now,” Rivers said. “Coach Monty Williams is a great coach. Anthony’s coming. They have a great city. I’m looking forward to going there and working hard and helping out in the community and doing everything I can to help this organization win.”
Following his selection, Rivers shared an emotional moment with his father, Doc Rivers, who is the head coach of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics own the No. 21 and 22 overall picks in the draft and it had been rumored that they were trying to trade up to select Rivers.
“He just said, ‘I love you, and you are ready,’” Rivers said. “I’m here now and I just have to keep getting better, keep working.”
Rivers joins a potentially crowded backcourt in New Orleans, although nothing is set in stone there. The team is expected to do everything to retain their star guard Eric Gordon, while Jarrett Jack is certainly returning and was the starting point guard last season.
Duke nemesis Greivis Vasquez, who played at Maryland, backed up both guard slots last year. The Hornets also traded for Kansas guard Xavier Henry midway through last season, who was selected with the 12th pick in the 2010 draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rivers led the Blue Devils in scoring last season with 15.5 points per game last season. He may be most remembered for hitting a game-winning 3-pointer to lift Duke over North Carolina this season. That shot came over the outstretched arm of 7-footer Tyler Zeller, who is also in attendance in the draft and expected to be taken in the middle of the first round.
This post is still being updated.