Knicks considering trading, buying out Austin Rivers ahead of deadline

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Scott Thompson
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Austin Rivers pulls up for a jumper vs Jazz blue uniforms
Austin Rivers pulls up for a jumper vs Jazz blue uniforms

The Knicks aren't trying to break up their team chemistry with a big trade at the NBA deadline later this week, sources told SNY's Ian Begley. But that doesn't mean they won't make any moves.

Austin Rivers is a player to keep an eye on because he seems to be hinting lately that he expects to be moved. He has been inactive in the past six games due to paternity leave, but he hasn't played for the Knicks since Feb. 13.

And if he isn't traded, a buyout is likely, which Begley confirmed is under consideration at the moment.

Despite having conviction to help the Knicks get to the point they're currently at when the season started, Rivers just hasn't gotten minutes recently because of the point guard logjam in New York.

Immanuel Quickley's rise to a solid scoring option off the bench doesn't help Rivers' cause. Elfrid Payton was also the starter at the outset, and the Derrick Rose trade has cut Rivers' playing time all the way down.

When Rivers was in the rotation playing regular minutes, he produced well. He had multiple double-digit scoring games and could be a spark much like Quickley.

Rivers also knew that being a mentor to guys like Quickley and Payton was in his job description this year, and because of the way he's handled himself with that, the Knicks should be looking to reward him with either a new team or a buyout so he can choose the next jersey he'll wear.

The Knicks have until March 25 to facilitate a trade.