Rodney Hood can still rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers but he won’t be the difference in how successful they will be in 2018-19.
With additions like Sam Dekker to go along with other wings, most notably J.R. Smith and Cedi Osman, seeing Rodney Hood make a difference is difficult. Given how unreliable he was and nonexistent, should Hood return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he likely will have minimal playing time, to begin with.
Currently, there is no momentum to Hood returning to Cleveland but where else will he go? The trade and free agency markets have significantly slowed down, but Hood still has a qualifying offer from the Cavs worth $3.4 million. He was linked earlier this offseason to the Sacramento Kings but if they were interested enough, a deal would have been agreed to by now.
Hood is best known for being a good defender. His three-point shooting (career average is 36.9 percent) also helps but for a team like Cleveland, having that added defender, someone the team can put on opposing team’s top bench scorer or second highest scoring wing, is valuable.
However, last season does not just go away. While yes, the NBA has moved onward, how Hood played once he arrived in Cleveland is still remembered rather vividly. Outside of Hood’s defensive ability, while with the Utah Jazz, he averaged 13.1 points and 37 percent beyond the arc.
Those stats dropped once he became a member of the Cavs as he averaged 10.8 points and 35.2 percent beyond the arc. While not too much of a drop, still there was a drop in production but that can also be contributed to other factors, like LeBron James.
If Hood were to return on the qualifying offer, when things get tough, is he mentally tough now? Also, can he get back to providing more production if and when more playing time comes his way? Those are both unknown as Hood definitely looked as if his confidence was lost from the get-go, something that was not seen in Utah. Don’t forget, he refused to enter a playoff game last season.
Hood cannot afford to act that way again but that goes back to being mentally tough and confident. Perhaps, regardless of the first question, the second one is strictly based off of hope. Maybe we have seen Hood peaked as an NBA player. No matter what Hood we see in the NBA this upcoming season, he will not change the landscape of Cleveland’s or any other team’s season.
If Hood gets an offer from another team that is fine as Cleveland moves on and continues to prepare for the season without him. However, if Hood does return, that is great, but until proven otherwise, Hood is just a rotational player with a limited amount of playing time on a nightly basis.