Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Orleans Pelicans reach deal to bring in Luke Babbitt

Former Wolf Pack star Luke Babbitt has signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to

Babbitt has been playing in the Russian Professional Basketball League for BC Nizhny Novgorod this year, after spending three seasons in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers after being drafted with the 16th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. The two sides reached a buyout yesterday and Babbitt is expected to report to New Orleans on Tuesday.

Babbitt managed 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game for BC Nizhny Novgorod including a 57 percent rate from the shorter international three-point distance. Babbitt will be expected to play minutes at the stretch four in the absence of Ryan Anderson.

Luol Deng calls the Cleveland Cavaliers a "mess"

The hits keep coming for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Just days after it was reported that Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland, the New York Daily News dropped a bombshell today that Luol Deng is not happy that he was traded to a team that he describes as a mess.

Mitch Lawrence , who penned the piece, says that Deng told a friend recently “the stuff going on in practice would never be tolerated by the coaching staff or the front office back in Chicago. It’s a mess.".

It gets worse. Lawrence goes on to write:

He’s seen players get thrown out of practice, take off their uniform tops at halftime and threaten not to play, mouth off to caoch Mike Brown and generally act like spoiled brats. Entering Saturday’s game at Houston, the Cavs had lost seven of their last 11 games since the Deng trade.

There is no accountability, as Dion Waiters found out when he was kicked out of practice last week but still got his usual minutes against the Knicks. Brown isn't getting much help from GM Chris Grant, who is expected to be fired at season's end because of the losing and problems in the locker room.

The report also says that Cavs players partied well into the night the evening before a blowout loss to the Knicks that was aired on national television.

First there was Waiters calling out Irving and Tristan Thompson during a players only meeting. The rumor of Waiters giving Irving a black eye. Former Cav Andrew Bynum was upset that Waiters and Irving weren't passing him the ball and mad about his playing time. Then the out of leftfield rumor that Bynum was sleeping with a coach's wife.

The Cavaliers were thought to be playoff contenders before the start of the season. Now the Cavs look like they're on their way back to selecting in the lottery. If they can get rid of Waiters it could improve the atmosphere in the locker room. If not things will get mighty ugly at the Q (Quicken Loans Arena).

You would hate to think things are actually this bad in Cleveland but you know what they say, where there's smoke there's fire. And there's an awful lot of smoke coming out of Cleveland. If a stand up guy like Deng has bad things to say about the state of the team then something has to ring true.

I wouldn't blame Deng or Irving if they wanted to bolt Cleveland right now.