The Timberwolves sign the Austin Rivers

That Timberwolves have taken a step to strengthen their bench as they continue to reshape their list this summer. Minnesota signs veteran combo guard Austin Rivers to a one-year contract, agents Dave Spahn and Aaron Mintz inform Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

6’4 ″ vet will sign for veteran minimum, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link).

Rivers will be reunited with a familiar face in the Timberwolves front office – Minnesota team president Tim Connelly, who signed his own lucrative deal with the club this summer following a successful extended tenure with the Nuggets. Rivers spent parts of the last two NBA seasons as a key reserve in Denver under Connelly.

After signing a 10-day deal with the Nuggets in April 2021, Rivers quickly proved worthy of a list spot on an off-season challenger, and was immediately brought back on a deal for the rest of the season. He further strengthened his role at the club by going up as a goal scorer during the playoffs in 2021. In Denver’s first round matchup against the Trail Blazers, the Rivers averaged 11.5 PPG (while shooting 48.3% from deep), 2.3 APG and 2.2 RPG.

The 29-year-old journeyman again signed with Denver during the 2021 offseason. He would continue to play a crucial role, largely from the bench, for a Denver club on guard duty. Across 67 competitions, including 18 starts, Rivers averaged 6.0 PPG at .417 / .342 / .727 shooting split during 22.1 MPGs game action. He also pulled 1.7 RPGs down, handing out 1.3 APGs and getting 0.8 SPGs.

Rivers joins a renewed Minnesota team that relieved much of its veteran depth to add three times Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. He will act as a helpful ball dealer from the bench behind projected backfield starters Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards. Another new free agent signs, Kyle Andersenwill likely start on the small forward, while Gobert will join the All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns to form a front track tandem in jumbo size.

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