Luke Babbitt/Nolan Smith Unofficial Appreciation Thread



Yeah, Babbitt and Smith are done in PDX after this year, and with luck will be gone before the trade deadline.

Some fans probably want to believe they will somehow be re-signed by the Blazers this summer. That isn't going to happen.

There are 3 scenarios that apply to Babbitt and Smith.

1) They somehow have a miraculous breakout season, even though they won't be getting many minutes since they aren't in the Blazers plans after this year is over. If that happens, they would get contract offers larger than the Blazers would be allowed to pay using their "limited" Bird Rights, which is $2.9M for Babbitt, and $1.4M for Smith. So they would take the bigger offers and be out of here. But don't worry about this scenario because it isn't happening with the minimal minutes they will now get.

2) They play poorly, as they have until now. Then the Blazers won't want them back, so they are gone.

3) They play well enough the Blazers, after failing to get a free agent(s) with their cap room, might want to give them another try on a cheap contract. But if that is the case then at least some other team would be equally ready to give them a try for a cheap contract. So where are they going to go? To a new team they choose that might have an opportunity for them, or back to the Blazers for another chance with a team and GM that already gave them a vote of no confidence? Pretty simple. Not Portland.

So they aren't coming back if they make it through this year in PDX. Olshey would be ecstatic to take any 2nd round pick in trade for either of them (which he would be more likely to get for Babbitt, who at least has one skill that might help the right team). But if any team were willing to give up even a bottom end 2nd round pick for them, he probably would have already found that team by now. More likely, one or the other is just tossed into a trade deal as salary matching filler if Olshey can find a sweetheart trade for Matthews by the deadline.

Elliot Williams

William's situation is different since he has never really played enough to show if he could play in the NBA. The Blazers, or another team, might be willing to give him another chance, and the Blazers could pay him up to $2.4M. I doubt any team would go higher. So although Williams could be tossed into a trade deal to match salaries, the Blazers might want to hang onto him until this summer, and if they don't need to renounce his "limited" Bird Rights for another free-agent, they could take another chance on him. Not likely, since I think they will find better use for his cap room, but not entirely out-of-the-question.