The 24-year-old Babbitt, selected at No. 16 by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2010 NBA Draft, signed a one-year contract with BC Nizhny Novgorod of the Russian Professional Basketball League last August. Initially, it was reported the Russian team was unwilling to sign Babbitt’s letter of clearance, but it appears a deal between the Pelicans and the Russian club has been reached (although the exact terms of the buyout have not yet been revealed).
In three seasons with the Trail Blazers, who traded for him on draft day, Babbitt averaged 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He shot 36 percent from long distance, with his best shooting season occurring in 2011-12. However, Babbitt endeared himself with Portland fans by becoming the team’s unofficial “Chalupa Guy,” coming off the bench late in games to get the Blazers over 100 points and thus winning free Taco Bell meals for all the fans in attendance.