Pelicans expand roster with Babbitt

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The New Orleans Pelicans are adding new firepower to their roster, signing forward Luke Babbitt, who has been playing in Russia for Nizhny Novgorod.

In the 18 games Babbit played for Novgorod, he averaged 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Babbitt will wear # 8 for New Orleans and could see action as soon as Wednesday's contest with the Atlanta Hawks.

The 6'9", 225-pounder practiced with the Pelicans Tuesday, as the team looks for him to fill in after injuries ravaged their roster, providing depth especially on the wing.

"There's a chance he can play some of the four position because of his ability to shoot the ball," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "He's a young player who had some success in Portland and played really well overseas. We kept our eye on him and have been trying to get it done for a couple of weeks, maybe a little bit longer. Finally it happened for us."

After 2 years playing at the University of Reno Nevada, the Minnesota Timberwolves took Babbitt in the first round of the 2010 Draft and immediately traded him to Portland.

Babbitt then played 126 games for the Trailblazers, averaging 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds. It's experience Babbitt says he can build off of now, especially what he learned playing behind LaMarcus Aldridge.

"I felt like I showed some things in Portland and was able to help the team when I was on the court," Babbitt said. "Obviously there have been a lot of injuries here, so I'm just looking to fill in wherever I can. We've got about half of the season left and the team is playing well. I'm just coming in trying to fit in."

The Pelicans roster now stands at 15.

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