Blazers Decline Options On Babbitt, Williams, Smith

3:29pm: According to GM Neil Olshey, the Blazers have declined their options on Babbitt, Williams, and Smith, tweets Joe Freeman of the Oregonian. As I noted below, this will free up about $6.7MM of potential cap space for the Blazers next summer.

8:21am: The Trail Blazers will not exercise Luke Babbitt's fourth-year option for 2013/14, meaning he'll become an unrestricted free agent next summer, according to Chris Haynes of Babbitt had been in line for a $2.9MM salary, but the Blazers will elect to gain that amount in cap flexibility instead.

Portland also holds 2013/14 options on Elliot Williams and Nolan Smith, worth $2.37MM and $1.42MM respectively. While the team still could decide to exercise one or both of those options, Haynes says they'll likely be declined as well. Turning down all three options would allow the Blazers to gain about $6.7MM in extra cap room next summer.

As we heard yesterday, the Blazers are hoping to add an accomplished veteran player in free agency next summer, and declining their three rookie-contract options will give the club the flexibility to offer a significant, eight-digit annual salary. Depending on how free agency plays out, the Blazers could still decide to bring back Babbitt, Williams, and/or Smith for the 2013/14 season.

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