The Hawks added the athletic youth in the draft, and on Wednesday, added their floor spacer to an already versatile roster.
Former Miami Heat forward Luke Babbit made his commitment to the Atlanta Hawks official after the two sides came to an agreement on a one-year , $1.9 million dollar veteran minimum contract.
Babbit appeared in a career high 68 games (55 starts) on his way to averaging (4.8) points and (2.1) rebounds in (15.7) minutes per game last season.
When the Hawks reached out, Babbit immediately thought about possiblities playing for head coach Mike Budenholzer, a coach who Babbit knows is respected around the NBA.
“When I got the call the first thing I thought about was coach Bud,” Babbit said. “I’ve always respected what he did from a far. He obviously is a really respected coach in the league, so I’m really excited to play for him and be with this young group of guys. I think it’s going to be a fun, energetic group.”
Babbit fits the mold of a stretch big that can spread the floor, a role that is open with the departure of Paul Millsap. Babbit now fits like a glove into Budenholzer’s philosophy that features ball movement, three-point shooting and strong defense.
“He gets his guys to play hard,” Babbit said. “The guys play the right way and the ball moves, unselfish basketball and guys get after it defensively. It’s winning basketball and its modern basketball, it’s how the game is played now and I’m looking forward to playing for him.”
The Hawks are Babbit’s 4th NBA team as he enters his eighth season as a pro. Babbit will be the veteran face in the Hawks’ locker room, something that has caught him a bit off guard. Babbit remembers when he was the young guy and he was learning the league, now he’s the adult in the room.
“It’s different being an older guy now,” Babbit said. “Time goes fast. I remember just being a young guy just yesterday it seems like. I’m excited to get with the young guys and provide the veteran leadership that I can. The hard work, the very business like approach that I’m just bringing everyday and competing and trying to get better. I think that’s what it’ll be this year, a lot of competition within our roster and we’re going to compete every night in the east that’s for sure.”
Jeremy Johnson: @Clark_Kent_75