“Whatever happens during the break, happens,” Hood said, in response to the trade rumor talk. “Right now, the ball goes through me and Gordon regardless and then Derrick Favors as well now that he’s healthy. Regardless of whether we bring in a point guard or not, [Hayward and I are] still going to be play-makers from the wing. We’re still going to try to make our teammates better, score off the pick-and-roll and down screens and whatever else.”
Hood, 23, not only leads his class with 5.4 Win Shares, topping Marcus Smart at 4.6 and Wiggins at 4.1, but he also ranks among the class’s leaders in Player Efficiency Rating and ranks in the top 10 among all shooting guards in Real Plus-Minus. Last week, he was selected to compete in the 2016 Rising Stars Challenge; only five of the 22 players selected before him in 2014 will join him at the All-Star Weekend event. “I was better than [pick] No. 23,” Hood told SI.com by telephone this week. “And I feel like those things will be proven on down the line.”