Portland's Luke Babbitt to Join D-League's Idaho Stampede
The Portland Trail Blazers rookie taken 16th overall by Minnesota out of the University of Nevada-Reno in June is, according to the sources, expected to be in uniform when the Stampede host Dakota on Wednesday night. He will join three-time All-Star Antoine Walker in his debut, as the 34-year-old who last played in the NBA in the 2007-08 season with Minnesota signed with the club on Friday and is looking to take the long road back to the NBA. Former NBA draft picks Luke Jackson (10th overall in 2004) and Salim Stoudamire (31st overall in 2005) already play for the Stampede.
Babbitt, who was sent to Portland along with Ryan Gomes in the draft night trade that sent Martell Webster to Minnesota, was spending most of his time in a suit with the Blazers. He has played in just eight games in all, with just one appearance since Nov. 6 for a total of four minutes. The D-League continues to play a larger role in NBA player development than ever before, as assignments such as these, according to a recent report from FanHouse's Scott Schroeder, have been occurring at a record pace.
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