Rodney Hood‘s offseason began with a “frank” exit meeting the day after the Jazz were eliminated from the playoffs, as general manager Dennis Lindsey challenged the fourth-year shooting guard to become more efficient and more consistent — and to prepare for a larger role. As Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune details, Hood has responded to that directive by staying in Utah for the summer and working harder than ever to get ready for the 2017/18 season.
“There were a lot of challenges we gave Rodney,” the Jazz GM said. “What he needs to be doing, his commitment level to his development. And he’s responded this summer. He’s going to be given a prominent role, and his development will be significant to us.”
With Gordon Hayward having left the Jazz for Boston, Hood will be required to take on a greater share of the scoring load in Utah, and as Lindsey suggests, the team’s success figures to hinge in part on how Hood responds to that increased responsibility.
Here’s more from around the Northwest:
- Russell Westbrook won’t have to shoulder so much of the burden for the Thunder this season with Paul George in the mix, according to Shaun Powell of NBA.com, who believes that Westbrook will look to accommodate his new All-Star teammate as much as possible. Speaking of George, Brett Dawson went into detail on the veteran forward’s intense offseason conditioning regimen in an interesting piece for The Oklahoman.
- Speaking to Nick Gallo of NBA.com, Patrick Patterson talked about why he chose the Thunder in free agency this offseason and how he envisions his role with the franchise. As Patterson notes, heading to Oklahoma City will give him the opportunity to re-connect with Billy Donovan, who attempted to recruit him out of high school.
- With training camp fast approaching, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian is taking a player-by-player look at the Trail Blazers‘ roster. So far this week, he has examined Jusuf Nurkic, who is extension-eligible this offseason, and discussed Evan Turner, who will look to bounce back from a poor 2016/17 as he enters the second season of a lucrative four-year contract.