No word on Babbitt’s status yet

  // Wednesday, 09 July 2014 21:03 //

Forward Luke Babbitt’s absence from the Pelicans summer league team practices has been conspicuous.

Babbitt is one of three players on the summer league team who played with the Pelicans last season, joining them at midseason. Babbitt, 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds, is an undersized power forward known for his outside shooting. He was expected to use the Las Vegas Summer League experience to work on developing his skills as a small forward and enhancing his attractiveness as a player.

“He’s at home in Oregon,” summer league coach Brian Gates said when asked about Babbitt’s whereabouts.

Asked whether Babbitt would join the team, Gates said, “I don’t know.”

Babbitt’s absence fuels speculation that he will not be brought back to the Pelicans. The team has the option on his $981,084 contract, with General Manager Dell Demps possibly shaving it to clear salary-cap space. Babbitt, a former first-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers, played in Russia last season before coming to the Pelicans.

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