Utah Jazz wing Rodney Hood is reportedly on the market leading up to the NBA trade deadline. Who are the most likely suitors?
Donovan Mitchell, though he is a rookie, has surprisingly taken over for departed Gordon Hayward as the player who leads the team in usage. This was a role that many expected Hood to fill heading into the season.
Now, heading into the offseason in which his contract is set to expire, the front office has an interesting decision to make in Utah. If they do not trade Hood before the deadline, it’s entirely possible that he leaves this summer to play for a team that doesn’t have a rising star who plays the same position as him.
It’s no surprise that several teams are interested in the high-volume scorer, writes Andy Larsen (via KSL.com):
“With a trade, Hood’s market opens from those five-to-10 teams with potential cap space this summer to 29 other teams who could use his Bird rights to sign him to whatever deal they wanted.”
The market for his value is unclear at this point, but there are several rosters that make sense for him.
While title contenders looking for an extra asset in their pursuit of a championship like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics ought to be considered, here are some of the other candidates that may make a push to land the 25-year-old wing.
Hood would immediately help their offense space the floor as they currently lack players who can hit knockdown jump shots, especially with Markelle Fultz and JJ Redick injured.
Zach Rosenblatt wrote about why the team would be interested in bringing him aboard (via NJ.com):
“This off-season, if the Sixers strike out with stars like LeBron James or Paul George — which seems highly probable — general manager Bryan Colangelo might look to use the team’s cap space elsewhere, on someone like Hood or Detroit’s Avery Bradley. It might be worth it to just pursue Hood now and control his rights as a restricted free agent. Plus, the Sixers could really use Hood right now.”
They are the least efficient team (0.73 PPP) when running PnR plays through a ballhandler, which is perhaps the strongest play type from Hood.
Colangelo might be willing to offer one of his younger players (Richaun Holmes or Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot both work within the cap) and Utah would likely enjoy a cheaper salary.
Sacramento’s head coach Dave Joerger has been described as a big fan of Hood. He reportedly targeted Hood as a draft pick when he was a coach for the Grizzlies.
Jake Fitzgibbon described one reason why it would be worth trading for Hood rather than aiming for him in the offseason (via Hoop-Ball):
“There’s no guarantee that the Kings secure a player of his caliber. For starters, the Jazz would own his rights and could match any offer, and secondly, Hood would have to actually sign with Sacramento, which is a long-shot.”
Hood, who is also an impressive scorer on catch-and-shoot opportunities, would be an interesting fit next to Buddy Hield — who leads all players in field goal percentage (51.7 percent) on this shot type.
Sacramento has made it clear they want to give playing time to their younger players and Hood, 25, might be a perfect fit for a coach who has long praised him.
The biggest question is who they would possibly trade to land the developing wing.
He was highly scouted by their franchise before the 2014 NBA Draft (via Rick Bonnell)
“I get the sense from Duke’s Rodney Hood there’s a lot of mutual interest … [Charlotte] met with Hood last night. He said they stuck out as being particularly knowledgeable about his game … [Their] front office talked to Hood about how much more effective he was when he earned trips to the foul line. That’s a big [Steve] Clifford thing.”
Clifford called him a “versatile” talent and he played in college less than two hours away from the arena.
Charlotte runs a pick-and-roll offense through a ballhandler more often than all but one team in the NBA. Hood has a high effective field goal percentage (52.6 percent) that ranks Top 10 among those with as many opportunities.
Hood has previously spoken about looking up to Chicago’s Scottie Pippen. Perhaps he ends up following in the footsteps of the six-time NBA champion as a key player for the Bulls.
Kevin Anderson speculated about whether Hood would work with the young core (via NBC Sports Chicago):
“We know that the Jazz are one of the rumored teams interested in embattled forward Niko Mirotic and while it wouldn’t seem to make sense on the surface, Rodney Hood could be a good fit for the Bulls. Hood will be a restricted free agent this summer and the Bulls would retain the rights to match any offer.”
It is possible that Utah would package Hood with someone like Derrick Favors or another larger contract to land their coveted big man from the Bulls.
He would be more than just a throw-in considering their offense has the worst effective field goal percentage (40.8 percent) among all teams on PnR plays operated through the ballhandler.
Hood ranks No. 8 overall among all players with as many shot attempts in effective field goal percentage (52.6 percent) on this play type.
Brooklyn has a crowded backcourt with D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Isaiah Whitehead, Joe Harris, Allen Crabbe and Nik Stauskas.
But for many reasons, they should be considered in the running for Hood. When head coach Kenny Atkinson was an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks, they nearly traded for Hood before the NBA trade deadline in 2016.
Their offense has the worst field goal percentage (39.1 percent) on PnR plays run through the ballhandler. The Nets also have the least efficient transition offense (0.96 PPP) in the NBA so far this season.
Hood would provide a spark to their offense and they can negotiate with him for a longer deal to keep him around once his contract expires.