Luke Babbitt has found a new home.
The last of the Heat’s free agents reached a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks on Friday worth $1.9 million according to Basketball Insiders, the league minimum for a player with six NBA seasons under his belt.
Babbitt, 28, started 55 games for the Heat last season and set single-season career highs in games played (68), starts, minutes played (1,065), three-point field goals made (87) and attempted (210), defensive rebounds (129) and steals (20) while shooting 41.4 percent from three-point range.
But he became expendable when the Heat drafted Kentucky big man Bam Adebayo with the 14th pick and then signed former Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk adding plenty of frontcourt depth to the roster to go with all the players the team re-signed.
Babbitt was the last of the Heat’s five free agents this off-season to sign. Miami re-signed James Johnson, Dion Waiters and captain Udonis Haslem and backup center Willie Reed signed a one-year minimum deal with the Los Angeles Clippers last week.
The Heat, which have 16 players under contract for next season (four shy of the off-season maximum), also traded often-injured forward Josh McRoberts to the Dallas Mavericks to create cap space and acquired second-year center A.J. Hammons in the deal.
According to ESPN’s real plus-minus projections, the Hawks are expected to have the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta lost All-Star power forward Paul Millsap in free agency and traded center Dwight Howard to Charlotte and are in the midst of a rebuild. So there could be plenty of opportunity for Babbitt to play moreso than with the Heat.