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The Cleveland Cavaliers’ goal is to sign Rodney Hood to a multi-year contract, but the possibility remains he could play one more season with the team and head to unrestricted free agency next summer.
So says on the most respected NBA and sports columnists in the country, Terry Pluto, of the Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com.
As part of a Cavaliers-centered column leading with Kevin Love signing a four-year, $120 million extension with the Cavaliers, Pluto touched on Hood’s situation.
“The Cavs have extended Rodney Hood a $3.4 million qualifying offer for 2018-19. I’m told they are interested in signing the restricted free agent to a 3-year contract,” Pluto writes. “My guess is it will be relatively modest, especially compared to what he hoped to receive when he came to the Cavs in February in a trade with Utah.”
Pluto, the author of such terrific pro basketball books, “Tall Tales,” “Loose Balls,” “48 Minutes,” “Unguarded,” “The Franchise: LeBron James and the Remaking of the Cleveland Cavaliers,” “Joe Tait: It’s Been a Real Ball,” and “The Comeback: LeBron, the Cavs & Cleveland,” then mentioned the possibility of Hood playing only one more season in a Cleveland uniform.
“It’s possible Hood can sign the qualifying offer for one season, then gamble on having a good year in 2018-19,” he writes. “He is a player who could benefit from James leaving — as more shots are available. Then he can take a good year into unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019.”
Pluto also mentioned the possibility of Hood and former Jazz teammate George Hill starting in the same backcourt for the Cavaliers next season.
“In 2016-17, Hill and Hood sometimes started together in the backcourt for Utah,” he said. “That season, Hill averaged 17 points and shot .477 from the field (.403 on 3-pointers). Hood averaged 12.7 points, shooting .408 (.371 on 3-pointers) from the field. The Cavs could start them together.”
Hood, 25, was acquired by the Cavaliers from the Utah Jazz at the February trade deadline. He averaged 10.8 points in 21 regular-season games in Cleveland. During that time, Hood shot 44 percent from the field, and 35 percent on 3-pointers.
But then came the playoffs and Hood’s productivity and playing time went largely south.
He registered by five DNP’s after falling out of coach Tyronn Lue’s rotation, before coming around to score 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting in Game 3 of the Finals, a loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Hood averaged 16.8 points during the first 39 games of his season with the Jazz.