Blazers Pass On Rookie Options For Luke Babbitt, Nolan Smith & Elliot Williams

Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

The Portland Trail Blazers will not pick up their 2013-14 team options on reserve forward Luke Babbitt and reserve guards Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams.

Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey announced Tuesday that 2013-14 team options for reserve forward Luke Babbitt and reserve guards Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams will not be exercised. The moves allow all three players to become unrestricted free agents next summer. The news was announced by the Blazers on Twitter.

The Blazers faced a Wednesday deadline to make the decisions. Babbitt's option would have him $2.9 million; Smith's option would pay him $1.4 million; Williams' option would pay him $2.4 million. All salaries via StorytellersContracts.com.

On Monday, it was reported that Babbitt would not get his option.

Picking up rookie options on reliable performers and rotation members is usually a formality, but Babbitt (entering third year) and Smith (entering second year) have failed to impress during the preseason and Williams (entering third year) is sidelined for the entire 2012-13 season with an Achilles injury suffered during a voluntary workout in September.

On Twitter, Storyteller crunched the numbers for what these decisions will mean for Portland's cap space next season.

The cap space number of $13 million [being reported] assumes that Portland loses its 1st round pick to Charlotte. If the Blazers' 1st round pick ends up being #1 through #12 and is retained, cap space will be more in the $9 to $11.5 million range.
The Blazers traded a first-round pick (top-12 protected) to the Charlotte Bobcats in the trade for Gerald Wallace. That pick will likely stay in Portland this year.

Babbitt, 23, holds career averages of 3.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.5 minutes in 64 career games. He was the No. 16 pick in the 2010 Draft.

Smith, 24, holds career averages of 3.8 points and 1.4 assists in 12.3 minutes in 44 career games. he was the No. 21 pick in the 2011 Draft.

Williams, 23, holds career averages of 3.7 points and 0.8 rebounds in 6.2 minutes in 24 games. He was the No. 22 pick in the 2010 Draft.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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