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Pelicans Sign Forward Luke Babbitt, Here Is Where He Fits

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed forward Luke Babbitt to a two-year deal, agreeing to a contract buyout with the BC Nizhny Novgorod of Russia. Babbitt will be counted on to stretch the offense.

As the 16th pick in the 2010 draft out of Nevada, Babbitt played 126 games in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers, before being assigned to the D-League, and eventually seeing his contract run out at the end of last season. With minimal interest on the free agent market, he signed a one-year deal with the BC Nizhny Novgorod. Back in the states, Babbitt is happy to have another shot in the NBA.

“I’m happy to (Pelicans GM) Dell (Demps) and Monty (Williams) for the opportunity,” said Babbitt. “I’m just looking to fill in where ever I  can.”

Best case scenario, Babbitt will fill in as an adequate stretch 4, a forward who can stretch the floor with 3-point shooting.

At 6’9, 225 pounds, Babbitt isn’t known for physicality, and can be out muscled on defense by a physical forward. Worst case scenario, Babbitt is too much of a liability on defense to garner meaningful minutes.

In three years with the Trail Blazers, Babbitt career averaged 3.8 points and 2.1 rebound a game. He averaged 36.7% from beyond the arch, including a 43% in 2011-2012.

With Ryan Anderson out indefinitely (herniated disc), the Pelicans are in desperate need of a stretch forward. Demps and Williams are hoping Babbitt can be an adequate replacement.

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