What if Austin Rivers is on board for C's?

March, 29, 2012
3/29/12
8:00
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AP Photo/Gerry BroomeAustin Rivers is leaving Duke, so would the Celtics be interested if he was available?
BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers left the door open for Boston selecting his son, Austin, in June's draft, but said the team will ultimately choose based on need not bloodlines.

"I’m going to say, ‘Danny you better draft him,’" Rivers half-joked when asked if he'd select his son if he was still available when Boston is on the clock. The Celtics will have two first-round picks in this year's draft, including one belonging to the Los Angeles Clippers (received by Boston as part of the Kendrick Perkins trade with Oklahoma City).

"And [Austin] could [still be on the board] , that could actually happen," said Rivers. "If it happens, it happens. We’re going to do what’s best for the team."

Then he quipped: "I’m just not going to answer my phone, because my wife will be calling."

With his son announcing his intentions to enter this year's draft on Monday, this after just one season at Duke, Rivers opened up a bit about Austin's decision and how much input he offered.

"I think he’s always wanted to be an NBA player, I don’t think he ever hid that," said Rivers. "[Duke] coach [Mike Krzyzewski], one of the things he said, is that [Duke] recruited him as a one-and-done, the same way they recruited [last year's top overall pick] Kyrie [Irving]. That was part of what they talked to him about, a lot, before he got there. But he still almost stayed, because he enjoyed it; he enjoyed Coach K. I’m happy for [Austin], I really am. We had input in it, we let him have more input in it, honestly. I’m just happy that he’s kinda at peace and made his decision, now he has to get ready for us."

Rivers isn't fretting about his son having only one year of college experience under his belt.

"Listen, I’m not thinking about it, honestly. I think he’s good enough to be a good player for a long time," said Rivers. "Having said that, you have to get in the league and find out. I’ve always said that the one-and-dones who haven’t made it, would have been four-year players and hadn’t made it. Usually, it’s the same way when guys go two years or three years and don’t do well in the league; it just turns out if your’e a player or not. I don’t think it’s much more complicated or that."

And Rivers made clear he's OK with the NCAA's allowance of one-and-done situations:

"I’ve always been a proponent of it, yeah," said Rivers. "Bill Gates quit [Harvard], no one thought anything of that... do you want me to go through the list? I’ve never had a problem. I don’t see what the big deal is, really. If guys want to come out, they can come out; if they want to go back and be students, they probably are better students when they go back on their own recourse than when you’re an athlete."

Rivers, of course, couldn't resist one last crack: "Of course, not at Marquette. I was an excellent student."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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