Luke Babbitt Rumors

Western Notes: Clips, Jazz, Withey, Buycks, Mavs

July 23 at 5:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid for the Clippers equals more than 12 times the total revenue projections for the team from 2013/14, but no major pro sports team has ever sold for more than five times of its total revenue, according to Bank of America. Ramona Shelburne and Darren Rovell of ESPN.com have the details, which back up the contention of Clippers CEO Dick Parsons that it would be tough to envision another bidder coming in so high.

  • The Jazz received $1.3MM in cash Tuesday as part of their three-for-one trade with the Cavs, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). That’s slightly more than the $1MM that was originally reported.
  • Jeff Withey‘s minimum salary became fully guaranteed for this coming season after the Pelicans declined to waive him before the end of Tuesday, the final day they could do so without owing him any money, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports. Teammate Luke Babbitt also earned a $100K partial guarantee when the Pelicans kept him past Tuesday, which was also the final day his contract had been fully non-guaranteed.
  • Dwight Buycks is drawing the eye of the Clippers and Suns, and multiple teams from overseas are interested in him as well, Sportando’s Enea Trapani reports. The Raptors waived Buycks on Saturday, before his contract would have become fully guaranteed.
  • The Mavs are nearing a deal with Jameer Nelson, but owner Mark Cuban insisted to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that the team isn’t trying to unload Raymond Felton. “We like him and think he will have a great year,” Cuban said. 
  • Cuban also made an appearance on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket in Dallas this week, during which he explained that the Mavericks strategically used the ultra-logical approach of the Rockets‘ front office to put together an offer for Chandler Parsons that was unlikely to be matched (link via The Dallas Morning News).

International Notes: Bertans, Hamilton, Babbitt

July 19 at 9:30am CDT By Cray Allred

Davis Bertans has signed a three-year contract worth just under €2MM with Spanish team Baskonia, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The deal has an NBA-out clause in each season that the Spurs, who own Bertans’ rights and have eyed the Latvian for the near future, could pay for without it counting against the cap, presuming it is at or below the $600,000 maximum allowed. Here’s more from around the world:

  • Ryan Richards, the Spurs 2010 second-round draft pick, has signed with an Austrian club, the Zepter Vienna team website announced (transcription via Trapani).
  • Russian team Lokomotiv Kuban is looking to add Justin Hamilton and Milan Macvan next season, reports Enea Trapani of Sportando. Hamilton has a non-guaranteed salary that the Heat can fully waive prior to August 1st, and partially waive before December 1st. Macvan was drafted by the Cavs in 2011, and has been cool to Cleveland’s interest in bringing him to the NBA.
  • Spanish team Unicaja Malaga has offered Luke Babbitt a $980,000 contract if the Pelicans don’t retain him, notes Trapani in a separate report. That amount is nearly identical to Babbitt’s fully non-guaranteed salary in New Orleans, which becomes partially guaranteed at $100,000 if the Pelicans don’t waive him before July 22nd.

Contract Details: Butler, World Peace, Suns

March 31 at 9:38am CDT By Chuck Myron

Mark Deeks has updated his salary databases at ShamSports, and, as usual, he’s revealed several nuances about the latest contracts signed around the NBA. We’ll pass along the details we hadn’t previously heard about here:

  • Caron Butler gave up $1MM in his buyout deal with the Bucks. He signed for that same amount for the remainder of this season with the Thunder, who dipped into their mid-level exception to accommodate Butler’s $1MM salary.
  • Metta World Peace gave up $305,166 of this season’s $1.59MM salary in his buyout deal with the Knicks. All contracts with player options include a clause indicating whether or not the player receives the money for his option year in the event that he’s waived before deciding on the option. It looks as if the clause in World Peace’s deal stated that he would not receive the option-year pay, since Deeks doesn’t list any of World Peace’s $1,931,550 salary for 2014/15 on New York’s books.
  • Shavlik Randolph‘s contract with the Suns includes a non-guaranteed year for 2014/15, rather than a team option, as we suspected.
  • If the Hawks exercise their team option on the fourth season of Mike Muscala‘s deal, the contract will nonetheless remain non-guaranteed until the leaguewide guarantee date. It’s similar to the structure of the contracts a handful of Sixers have, including recent signee Jarvis Varnado.
  • Chris Johnson also has such a deal with the Celtics, although there are a pair of guarantee dates attached to the third and fourth seasons. The third year becomes fully guaranteed providing he’s not waived on or before September 1st, 2015, and the fourth year becomes fully guaranteed if he’s not waived on or before September 1st, 2016.
  • The Celtics also arranged for a couple of guarantee dates on Phil Pressey‘s three-year contract. Next season is non-guaranteed if he’s waived on or before July 15th, but if the Celtics keep him beyond that date, it’s fully guaranteed. The same happens for the third year of the deal on July 15, 2015.
  • The Rockets have a team option on Troy Daniels worth the minimum salary for next season.
  • Luke Babbitt‘s two-year deal with the Pelicans is for the minimum salary. Next season isn’t guaranteed, but it becomes partially guaranteed for $100K if he isn’t waived on or before July 22nd.
  • The Magic used cap room to sign Dewayne Dedmon to a three-year contract that gives him $300K for the rest of this season, slightly more than what he would have made on a prorated minimum-salary deal. Dedmon is set to make the minimum salary in the other two seasons covered in the pact. Next season is non-guaranteed if he’s waived on or before opening night, when it becomes partially guaranteed for $250K. The final season is non-guaranteed if he’s waived on or before August 1st, 2015, when it becomes fully guaranteed.

Pelicans GM On Jackson, Deadline, Free Agency

February 25 at 3:54pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Pelicans GM Dell Demps says Pierre Jackson plans to play with the club during summer league, and that the team will continue to monitor the diminutive guard as he plays in Turkey on a deal that covers the rest of the season. New Orleans is in a tough position, sitting 10 and a half games out of the playoffs but four games up on the Lakers, the team with the fifth-worst record in the league. If the Pelicans don’t end up with a top-five pick this year, their first-rounder goes to the Sixers. Demps had more to say about Jackson and covered an array of other topics Monday with Pelicans broadcaster Sean Kelley, and Pelicans.com provides the transcript. We’ll hit the highlights here:

On the trade deadline:

“I think for us at this trade deadline we were only looking to add to our core. We weren’t really looking to make any adjustments. We were looking to add. We didn’t want to give up any more assets to acquire any more players at this point. We did that last summer. We gave up a draft pick in this upcoming draft to acquire Jrue Holiday. We feel like Jrue Holiday is going to be our point guard for the future. We have him under contract for four years and we hope that he grows old here and his kids graduate from high school in New Orleans. We didn’t feel comfortable giving up any more assets for players at this time.”

On the team’s midseason signings of Luke Babbitt and Alexis Ajinca:

“Well, a guy like Babbitt, he was playing great in Europe and I really believe if he would have become a free agent this summer, a number of teams would have tried to get him. The reason why he was available, I thought we were able to get him out of his contract early and he didn’t hit the free agency market. I think the same thing for Ajinca. Ajinca was actually leading the Euro league in scoring, which is considered the best league outside the NBA, considered a higher level than college basketball. I think if he goes through the free agent market this summer a number of teams would have tried to acquire him. We thought that we were able to get in early and get those two guys into the program and really get a good understanding of if they can help us or if they cannot help us ahead of the curve. Next year is going to be a big year for us and you don’t want to go into next year with guys on the roster that we are still wondering about.”

On the team’s core:

“I still want to see this group play together. I believe in this group and we still want to add more pieces to this group. I think we are a fun group to watch. We are explosive. We can score a lot of points and I think moving forward we want to add a couple more pieces on the perimeter and interior and improve our defense. I think we will be able to score with anyone in the league.”

On whether he’s high on this summer’s crop of free agents:

“Of course. We are not into max games so we are not going to be looking for players with contracts more $10MM, but we have a number of exceptions that we can use and we have a couple of ways we can get creative as well.”

On Pierre Jackson

“The kid had some bad luck to start with. When we acquired him, we were stacked at the point guard position. Before we drafted him, we had conversations with him asking, ‘If we did draft you, we don’t know where you would fit on this year’s roster. Would you want to go overseas?’ He said yes. When we drafted him, we asked him to play summer league, but because of the trade he wasn’t cleared to play summer league until the third game. He didn’t get to come to the practices. Some guys had practiced for four or five days and they had a couple of games. We kind of just threw him into the fire. Then he catches pink eye, so he misses the next two days recovering from that and he comes back for the last game. He didn’t get a good opportunity to show what he could do.”

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Spurs, Covington

February 7 at 7:25pm CDT By Cray Allred

Kevin Arnovitz  of ESPN details Pelicans GM Dell Demps‘ process of rebuilding New Orleans’ roster after trading away Chris Paul in 2011. A mixture of good and bad results have come from that blockbuster trade (Eric Gordon), drafting (selecting Anthony Davis last year, trading Nerlens Noel for Jrue Holiday this year), and free agency (Ryan Anderson, then Tyreke Evans via a sign-and-trade with the Kings that also sent away Robin Lopez), and the team has little flexibility in the near future. Coach Monty Williams is unhappy with the current roster’s performance, but a slew of injuries this year has limited a thorough roster evaluation, as well as the team’s performance. “The errors in planning are easy to enumerate and Demps tacitly admits some of his primary goals are cleaning up his own mistakes,” writes Arnovitz. “Fortunately for the Pelicans, a single truth lies beneath the spreadsheets: When you have a budding star like Anthony Davis, you can afford to make mistakes.”  Here’s more from around the division:

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Harris, Blake, Babbitt

February 4 at 8:24pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Earlier today, the Lakers notified guard Manny Harris that they do not plan to retain him beyond his second 10-day contract, tweets Bill Oram of the OC Register. We noted yesterday that L.A. wasn’t expected to keep Harris on board with a trio of the team’s point guards returning to the lineup.

Aside from a sensational 18-point, 6-for-9 shooting performance against the Knicks a little over a week ago, Harris’ numbers have been underwhelming through his eight game stint for the most part, averaging 6.8 PPG on 33.9% shooting overall and 29.4% from long distance in 19.9 MPG. However, as we speak, the 6’5 guard is leading the Lakers with 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting at halftime against the Timberwolves tonight, and although he might not be on the team tomorrow, Harris is putting together a compelling audition for potential suitors.

Here are some more links to share out of the Western Conference tonight:

  • In response to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders’ tweet that the Lakers would look to shed another $3MM in the form of Jordan Hill, Steve Blake, or Chris Kaman in a potential Pau Gasol deal, fellow Basketball Insiders writer Eric Pincus (via Twitter) says that L.A. would actually like to keep Blake beyond this season.
  • Despite Russian-based team Nizhny Novgorod’s initial plan to hold Luke Babbitt to his contractual obligations and prevent him from signing with an NBA team, Pelicans GM Dell Demps managed to negotiate a buyout agreement that took two weeks to get finalized, reports John Reid of NOLA.com. New Orleans head coach Monty Williams is hopeful that Babbitt can be a contributor right away: “We thought having some more depth at our wing spot and there’s a chance he can play some four (power forward) because of his ability to shoot the ball..He’s a young player who had some success in Portland and played really well overseas. We kept our eye on him and have been trying to get it done for a couple of weeks, maybe a little bit longer. Finally it happened for us.” 
  • Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle shared his thoughts with Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW on current Grizzlies guard and former Mavs draft pick Nick Calathes, who is expected to start in place of the injured Mike Conley when the two teams meet Wednesday night. Dallas reportedly dealt Calathes in order to create a roster spot for Gal Mekel“They’re similar players…We went that direction and at that point it made no sense to hold onto Calathes’ rights. They both have gotten much better since they got into the NBA. I’m happy for Nick. And we like Gal. It wouldn’t make any sense to have both of them here.”
  • So far, the 2013/14 season may not have always been ideal as one would hope for Samuel Dalembert, who on separate occasions this season has been called out by Carlisle for lack of conditioning and being undisciplined on the court. In another piece for SportsDayDFW, Sefko notes that with his recent 18-point, eight rebound, and 7-for-8 shooting performance against the Cavaliers, the 32-year-old center is slowly regaining the trust from everyone on the team, including Carlisle, who doesn’t appear to have any choice at this point but to ride Dalembert as much as he can.

Pelicans Sign Luke Babbitt

February 4 at 11:43am CDT By Cray Allred

TUESDAY, 11:43am: The Pelicans have officially announced the signing.

SATURDAY, 12:28pm: The deal is for two years, according to Chris Haynes of Comcast SportsNet (via Twitter).

10:04am: The Pelicans have a “done deal” with Luke Babbitt, per a tweet from Serbian journalist Djordje Matic. The Pelicans were reportedly close to adding Babbitt earlier in the week, but Russian team BC Nizhny Novgorod was stifling the process.

Babbitt spent three years with the Portland Trail Blazers before heading to Russia this year in hopes of proving his game to the NBA by playing more minutes for an overseas team. The 24-year-old forward has never averaged more than 5.1 points or 13.4 minutes per game, being used almost exclusively as a three-point specialist. He shot a career-best .430 from deep in 2011/12 before taking a step back statistically last year with decreases in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, and minutes.

Russian Team Blocks Pelicans’ Pursuit Of Babbitt

January 29 at 1:09pm CDT By Chuck Myron

1:09pm: The Pelicans and Babbitt were in the final stages of reaching a deal that would have covered the rest of the season, but BC Nizhny Novgorod refused to yield, reports Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. It’s not clear if New Orleans will continue to try to extract Babbitt from his contract with the Russian team, which would be “a battle,” a source tells Haynes, who nonetheless hears that two other NBA clubs remain in the mix for the ex-Blazer.

9:37am: An NBA team has been in contact with BC Nizhny Novgorod of Russia to see if it would let Luke Babbitt out of his contract, but the Russian club says it won’t sign a FIBA letter of clearance that would allow Babbitt to return to the NBA. Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge provides a loose translation of a statement that appears on BC Nizhny Novgorod‘s website, and the Russian team has provided a brief English-language summary via Twitter (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

Babbitt left the club to fly home to the U.S. when it refused to let him out of his deal, an act that BC Nizhny Novgorod views as breach of contract. That prompted the team to vow that it won’t sign a letter of clearance, which FIBA requires anytime a player leaves a team in one country to play for another. NBA teams are not necessarily bound by FIBA governance, but they’ve honored the letter of clearance system as a matter of practice in the past.

It’s unclear which NBA team was in contact with BC Nizhny Novgorod about the Bill Duffy client, just as it’s not certain what Babbitt’s recourse will be. He signed his one-year deal with the Russian team in August, when it was apparent that the contract didn’t include an escape clause that would allow him to return to the NBA until the end of BC Nizhny Novgorod’s season. The Russian team indicated in its statement that it’s in the midst of an important stretch, helping explain why it’s reluctant to part with Babbitt.

The 24-year-old forward is averaging 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in Russia. Most impressively, he’s shooting 57.4% from three-point range on 3.4 such attempts per contest. The 16th overall pick in 2010 spent the past three seasons with the Trail Blazers, who opted not to re-sign him this past summer, when Babbitt failed to generate much buzz on the market.

Luke Babbitt Signs With Russian Team

August 30 2013 at 8:07am CDT By Luke Adams

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.

Odds & Ends: Joseph, West, Delany, Wiggins

August 14 2013 at 6:50pm CDT By Alex Lee

Here are a few odds and ends from around the NBA on Wednesday night:

  • Kris Joseph, who was waived last month by the Celtics, is weighing international offers in Italy, Russia and France as well as a few NBA invites, tweets Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest. 
  • Haynes also tweets that free agent guard Delonte West has impressed at a coach's camp in Las Vegas.  West, who spent some time in the D-League last year, hasn't played in the NBA since his 2011/12 campaign with the Mavericks.  West has also played with the Celtics and Cavs. 
  • The Heat have named advance scout Pat Delany the head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, tweets Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. 
  • Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM evaluates the prospects of the eight 2010 first-round picks that are currently not on NBA rosters – Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry, Luke Babbitt, Craig Brackins, Elliot Williams, Damion James, Dominique Jones and Lazar Hayward.
  • Andrew Wiggins has the potential to single-handedly turn around an NBA franchise, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, adding that his ceiling has teams lining up to better their chances for his services. Kennedy names the Sixers, Magic, Suns, Bobcats, Kings and Jazz as the six teams who have positioned themselves for Wiggins, and Celtics and Raptors as outside possibilities.