Well, well, well, it seems Lucas the Babbitt is generating interest from at least one NBA team (Perhaps the city of Seattle is pranking him?). He left Nizhny Novgorod without warning and royally miffed his Russian overlords. Apparently signing a one year deal and backing out before six months are through is frowned upon in the VTB United League. Understandably, NN has denied his transition request and will fight to retain his rights through the playoffs and EuroBasket.
Honestly, I’m a little surprised that an NBA team would be interested in his services just yet. Luke Babbitt was never a stud in the NBA, and he hasn’t fared any better than the average player in Russia. Babbitt is averaging 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game with Nizhny Novgorod so far this season. That’s about equivalent to the production of Utah’s Alec Burks, but in a significantly less competitive league.
Oops— I seem to have spilled some Haterade on my keyboard. The former Trail Blazer has every right to want to play in the NBA. However; contractually, he’ll have to be more patient. Quitting on one’s team is among the more egregious offenses a player can commit, regardless of where they are playing. If nothing else, this premature abandonment indicates that he has more growing to do before he is ready to contribute in the NBA again.
In three seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Luke Babbitt averaged 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Even if he were able to double his production after a few short months in an Ushanka, he would be little more than a hindrance to his new squad. Chances are, very little will come of this state-side. Babbitt will be reprimanded accordingly by Zoran Lukic (NN Head Coach) and fade deeper into obscurity.