Luke Babbitt Rumors

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Luke Babbitt
Luke Babbitt
Position: F
Born: 06/20/89
Height: 6-9 / 2.06
Weight:225 lbs. / 102.1 kg.
New Orleans Pelicans announced the signing of forward Luke Babbitt, Nizhny Novgorod admitted that the Russian club’s demands were satisfied and his letter of clearance is traveling to the States. As Eurohoops reported the initial reaction of Nizhny was not constrained. However Babbitt had already left Russia and there was no turning back. As Nizhny’s general manager Sergey Panov said: “This situation was unpleasant for the club. We encountered for the first time such a behavior. We did not want his act to go unpunished just because the NBA came calling. Therefore, we firmly negotiated, there were hundreds of phone calls, emails and I met with his agent in Belgrade. As a result, the amount of the compensation that we were paid, is proportionate to his contract with the Pelicans”. The exact amount of the buy out wasn’t announced.
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The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed forward Luke Babbitt. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not released. Babbit, who was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round (16th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft and traded to the Portland Trail Blazers on draft day, joins the Pelicans after spending part of the 2013-14 season in the Euroleague for Nizhny Novgorod (Russia).
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Former Portland Trail Blazers forward Luke Babbitt and the New Orleans Pelicans have reached an agreement on a two-year deal, a league source informed CSNNW.com. Babbitt, 24, was playing for BC Nizhny Novgorod of the Russian Professional Basketball League before he left the team recently with the intention of signing with New Orleans. However, BC Nizhny Novgorod wasn’t facilitating that move having issued a statement saying that they will not sign his absentee letter, disallowing him to sign with any other team. The two sides reached a buyout yesterday and Babbitt is expected to report to New Orleans on Tuesday.
In a brief interview of Sergei Panov, former Russian national team player and general manager of Nizhny, which was reproduced in the official site of the team, it’s clear that Nizhny at this point will not let Babbitt return to the NBA. As Panov said: “They made us an offer, which didn’t satisfied us. Now we will negotiate through agents, attorneys and lawyers. I learned some new English words after this incident like “spit in the face” and “shit on your soul””. At this point, if Nizhny and the Russian basketball federation refuse to send the letter of clearance of Babbitt to the States, he will not be able to sign anywhere else until the end of the season according to the FIBA-NBA agreement.
To summarize, Babbitt left Russia, he apparently has generated NBA interest, BC Nizhny Novgorod is upset that he left at the spur of the moment, and they plan to fight his ability to sign with another team. Babbitt agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Russian team back in August after the Blazers decided not to extend a fourth-year rookie option to the 2010 first-round pick. Babbitt, 24, holds NBA career averages of 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds over three seasons. Babbitt was averaging 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game for BC Nizhny Novgorod in VTB League play, according to EuroBasket.com.
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On March 20 in Chicago last season, Portland was practicing the day before it squared off against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center and things got a little heated. Freeland and former Trail Blazer Luke Babbitt got into a scuffle. According to some onlookers, Babbitt was repeatedly fighting through screens using his elbows. After being struck a couple of times already, Freeland warned Babbitt in a not-so-friendly way that that would be his last elbow. A play later, Babbitt did it again, resulting in a physical altercation. According to an eyewitness, a fired-up Freeland literally picked up Babbitt and threw him to the ground. The two eventually ended up on the floor exchanging blows before teammates intervened and separated them.
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The announcement includes a brief (rare) interview with Babbitt. Here’s an excerpt thanks to Google Translator. I’ve tried to clean it up slightly. Why did you move from the strongest league in the world (NBA) to Nizhny Novgorod? “I wanted to play for a team that will give me the opportunity to show what I can do on the court. I will try to prove that I was able to [play a] complete game and can do more than just [shoot] a three-pointer. In this sense, the situation in Nizhny Novgorod – a great opportunity for me.” Is this the first time you’ve played in Europe? Do you think that basketball is different from the U.S.? “This is the third time I’m going to play in Europe. [I] participated in several tournaments when I was in high school and college. I think the game is a little different in style and there are some other rules to which I will have to adapt.”
Babbitt’s agent Bill Duffy confirmed the deal saying, “My take is Luke needs to play 30 minutes a game and play a more expanded role. We’ve had recent success with both Danny Green and Patrick Beverley getting an opportunity to develop their games in Europe and return to the NBA. The NBA is a league of opportunity. We feel strongly this is the best move for Luke at this time.”
Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com reports on Twitter that Blazers TV color commentator Mike Rice did not select Babbitt as one of his finalists on a recent TrailBlazers.TV episode. Last year, Rice was identified on Blazers.com as the organization’s “only broadcaster or employee who has a vote” on year-end awards. Update: A league spokesman has ruled out any possibility of error in the voting process. The vote for Babbitt, which was tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young, was “submitted and counted like all votes.”
In the grand scheme of the Blazers’ master rebuild, it seems clear a proverbial turning of the page from Babbitt to Claver is unfolding. The Blazers signed Claver to a three-year contract in July; roughly three months later, they declined to exercise a 2013-14 team option on Babbitt, guaranteeing that the No. 16 pick of the 2010 NBA draft will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. It seems clear that the Blazers are poised to let Babbitt walk after the season. “You can read into it,” Babbitt said, responding to a question about what his diminishing role says about his future with the Blazers. “I don’t read into things. I didn’t play my first two years and that wasn’t an indication (of my future). So I just go game by game. I don’t think about anything because things change very quickly in this business. I don’t really consider things too far down the line.”
It seems clear that the Blazers are poised to let Babbitt walk after the season. “You can read into it,” Babbitt said, responding to a question about what his diminishing role says about his future with the Blazers. “I don’t read into things. I didn’t play my first two years and that wasn’t an indication (of my future). So I just go game by game. I don’t think about anything because things change very quickly in this business. I don’t really consider things too far down the line.”
Three-point specialist Luke Babbitt wants in on the 2013 NBA Three-Point Shootout in Houston, TX. The Portland Trail Blazers’ forward says he’s been a fan of the contest since he was a young child and says he always dreamed of one day competing in it. “It would be an honor if I was selected,” Babbitt told CSNNW.com. “It’s something that I watched growing up and it would be great if I had the opportunity to be a part of it.” He has the support from his teammates. “My money would be on Luke,” Nicolas Batum said. “I know how good he can shoot and I know he’ll probably win it if he was in it. Hopefully, he can get picked.”