30 May 2016

Bolts' Import Prospect: Chris Babb

Chris Babb
Meralco Bolts overall team makeup is rather eclectic, for lack of a better word. The Manny V. Pangilinan organization likes to construct its roster with a very unique balance, leaving room for a healthy mix of veterans, youngsters, vibrant personalities and even more reserved ones, all creating a good presence both on and off the court.

One player who can complement the team composition is Iowa Penn State alumni Chris Babb.

A long range shooter with good size and a quick release, Babb saw action in 32 out of 38 games as a true-freshman for the Lions. At 6-5, 215 pounds, Babb shown that early that he has the size to shoot over most defenders and can also put the ball on the floor with a quick first step to get to the rim.

In his sophomore season, he was third on the team in assists (69) and steals (22), and made the second-most 3-pointers on the team, hitting 69-of-185 (37.3 percent) from beyond the arc. In 31 games (23 starts), he averaged 9.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per game.

After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Babb signed a multi-year deal with the Boston Celtics. However, he was immediately assigned back down to the Red Claws in the D-League. In July 2015, he was traded, along with Gerald Wallace, to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for David Lee.

During his stint with the Warriors, Babb boasts some seasoning with regard to preparing for the next step in his journey. Over the last two seasons, the 25 year old has bounced around and split time between the Celtics and their respective D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Babb may not have always been ready to take on the challenges of the NBA in the eyes of Boston, but the organization chose to keep an eye on him and monitor the progress. Such resilience paid off when he earned a call-up (yet again) towards the end of last season.

More of a combo-guard, Babb is a rather pesky defender. He has very good instincts, and what he may lack in pure athleticism, he makes up with his high basketball IQ. Though he can guard either position in the back-court, Babb's offensive skills are at most on display when it comes to the pick and roll and shooting around the perimeter.

Embracing his second campaign in the D-League, Babb welcomed the role of team-leader in Maine's 2014-2015 season. Such maturity is something the Meralco Bolts should welcome, even as Babb enters a different situation and attempts to learn more himself. He was very well respected in the locker room.

If the primary option is not available, the Meralco Bolts should be making a smart choice in seeing this through and giving Babb an opportunity to strut his stuff in the Philippines. If they prove to be patient enough, he'll likely prove that's more than merely an afterthought in their search for the right import.

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