FRIDAY, 8:07am: Babbitt has officially signed with BC Nizhny Novgorod, according to a Sportando tweet.
WEDNESDAY, 11:20am: Ex-Blazers forward Luke Babbitt will head overseas for the coming season, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Haynes reports that Babbitt has reached an agreement to play for Russia's BC Nizhny Novgorod on a one-year contract that doesn't include an NBA out. Agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports confirmed the deal.
"My take is Luke needs to play 30 minutes a game and play a more expanded role," Duffy told Haynes. "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."
Babbitt hit free agency for the first time this summer after the Blazers declined their team option for the 2013/14 season. After a promising sophomore year in Portland, the 24-year-old took a step backward this past season, with his rates slipping to 3.9 PPG, a .348 3PT%, and a 9.4 PER. The Sixers were mentioned as a possible suitor a month ago, but other than that, Babbitt didn't seem to garner a whole lot of NBA interest.