Luke Babbitt found his way to Atlanta by taking the road more traveled

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 23: Luke Babbitt
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 23: Luke Babbitt /

Luke Babbitt is entering his 8th season in the league and has now landed in Atlanta after several previous stops and quite a few minimal monetary deals.

28-year-old Luke Babbitt has found a place in Atlanta’s roster for the upcoming season, but the Hawks’ new number 8 won’t be quick to buy a nice new home and settle down. The reality of the NBA is that role players and bench players often live in uncertainty throughout their careers, not knowing if they’ll be traded as part of a package for someone more important, waived by their current team, or make a living off of minimum contracts.

Luke Babbitt finished up the last year on his previous contract on the Miami Heat after being traded from the New Orleans Pelicans where he spent 3 years. Babbitt’s contractual history doesn’t quite qualify him as an NBA mercenary, but make no mistake, he is a deadly sharpshooter who will gladly take money for his services. Like many others, his path to achieving veteran status wasn’t filled with extravagant contracts, instead he stuck to the lower echelons.

Related Story: Luke Babbitt agrees to deal with Atlanta Hawks

After being drafted 16th overall in the 2010 draft Babbitt had a difficult couple of years adapting to the NBA with the Portland Trailblazers and saw a couple stints with the Idaho Stampede during his tenure. In the first half of the 2013-14 he went abroad to play in Russia, but ended the season with the Pelicans, with whom he would play two more years before ending in Miami on the aforementioned 2-year contract totaling $2.33 million. His estimated career earnings up to the 2017-18 season total close to $8.66 million.

Luke Babbitt
MEMPHIS, TN – JANUARY 23: Luke Babbitt /

Now Babbitt has found his way to the Hawks, after gaining ample NBA experience, spending time in the D-League, and even trying to go overseas to get playing time. Babbitt’s is a journey of endurance in a league that houses 450 of the best basketball players in the world, and every single one of them has earned that distinction. It’s no doubt difficult to be uncertain year after year where you will be next, and having to content yourself with minimum contracts in order to play at the highest level, but that’s what Babbitt has done.

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It’s easy for a player to field all of the offers and choose the money, but it takes courage to stand and take the one that offers the best basketball opportunities. Babbitt’s credentials are duly noted by now and his statistics only serve to affirm them. His path to Atlanta came as a result of his skills fitting the bill for Budenholzer’s style of play and Babbitt’s own desire to earn his minutes.

His agent Bill Duffy has served his client well over the years, but not everyone can earn roughly $28 million a year like another of Duffy’s players, Mike Conley. Babbitt is a solid role player, and he’s landed in Atlanta at a time when his role is in demand, and for the affordable price of $1.9 million, the veteran’s minimum, half of which is guaranteed.

Next: Can Luke Babbitt be Kyle Korver 2.0?

Two roads diverged in a wood, and Luke – Luke took the one more traveled by, and that has made all the difference.