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NBA New Orleans Pelicans

Austin Rivers Needs to be New Orleans Pelicans’ Starting Point Guard

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of expectations on Austin Rivers when he was the tenth overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft by the then-New Orleans Hornets. The team has changed their name to the Pelicans now, and Rivers can only hope that he has major changes happen with him starting next season as well. He found himself playing a lot of shooting guard this past season, but I would have to think that the best thing for Rivers would be to let him be the point guard.

It is his normal position at the point, and he has said that he plays best at that position. The problem with that thinking is that Rivers had an awful rookie season where he averaged only two assists a game. You can’t do that and be successful at the NBA level. He also only averaged six points a game. There is obviously room to improve with Rivers being only 20 years old, but you have to wish that he could have come out and played like a top-ten pick right away.

New Orleans appears to be a long way away from being a playoff contender. It could easily be two or three years before the Pelicans make a serious run. I’m not sure how patient the organization will be with Rivers, but this is a situation where you let him be the full-time point guard next season and see where it goes. It could work and it may blow up in their face, but he was drafted to be the future point guard. It’s time to just let him do it, and maybe Rivers can become a great player.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.