Pelicans Officially Announce Signing Of Former Blazers F Luke Babbitt

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The New Orleans Pelicans have officially announced the signing of former Portland Trail Blazers forward Luke Babbitt.

The New Orleans Pelicans officially announced the signing of former Portland Trail Blazers forward Luke Babbitt on Tuesday.

Here's the release.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed forward Luke Babbitt. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not released.

Babbitt, who was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round (16th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft and traded to the Portland Trail Blazers on draft day, joins the Pelicans after playing part of the 2013-14 season for Nizhny Novgorod (Russia).

Babbitt appeared in 18 games for Novgorod and averaged 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Entering his fourth NBA season, Babbitt has appeared in 126 games for Portland and holds career averages of 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Babbitt will wear No. 8 and will be available for tomorrow night's contest against Atlanta.

Babbitt, a 2013 Sixth Man of the Year finalist, will be coached by former Blazers assistant Monty Williams.

As noted last week, Babbitt abruptly left the Russian club BC Nizhny Novgorod to return to the United States, angering the team's GM and coach, who initially said they wouldn't provide a letter of clearance. Over the weekend, multiple reports indicated that Babbitt, BC Nizhny Novgorod and the Pelicans had reached an agreement that would free Babbitt to come back to the NBA.

Babbitt agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Russian team back in August after the Blazers decided not to extend a fourth-year rookie option to the 2010 first-round pick.

Babbitt, 24, holds NBA career averages of 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds over three seasons. Babbitt was averaging 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game for BC Nizhny Novgorod in VTB United League play, according to EuroBasket.com.

New Orleans (20-27) has been struck by a rash of injuries to Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson, among others, this season.

Babbitt will make his triumphant return to the Moda Center with the Pelicans on Sunday, April 6.

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

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