Earlier this offseason, the Portland Trail Blazers decided to decline Luke Babbitt‘s fourth year option on his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.
He found no market in the NBA, so instead of clinging on to a deep reserve role, Babbitt has decided to play across seas and has signed a one year deal with BC Nizhny Norgorod in Russia.
Portland Trail Blazers free agent forward Luke Babbitt has agreed to a one-year deal with the Europe club BC Nizhny Novgorod of Russia, a league source informed CSNNW.com.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the fact that no announcement has been made, added that the deal does not contain an NBA out clause.
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 (of the San Antonio Spurs) and Patrick Beverley (of the Houston Rockets) 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.”
Despite only averaging 3.8 points in his three year career, Babbitt was known for his ability to hit the deep shot which should have found him a spot on an NBA bench. However, he preferred to play more minutes, thus the decision to play in Russia.