Rodney Hood‘s ability to score off the bench could make him a perfect fit for the Wizards, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The 25-year-old Jazz guard seems like a good bet to be traded by the February 8 deadline, and Washington could be among the suitors.
Hood is averaging 16.7 points per game while shooting 41.3% from the field and 38.6% from 3-point range. He has an expiring contract worth a little less than $2.4MM, so matching salaries wouldn’t be difficult.
The Wizards would like to improve their bench and find some relief for Bradley Beal, who is playing about 36 minutes per night. Reserve guard Jodie Meeks, who signed a two-year deal with Washington last summer, is shooting just 36.2% from the field and 30.6% from long distance.
There’s more news from the Southeast Division:
- Despite rumors over the past week, the Hornets aren’t likely to part with Kemba Walker, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Bonnell says coach Steve Clifford seemed genuinely surprised to be asked about the possibility, which is an indication that it hasn’t received serious discussion. Walker, who will be a free agent after next season, is happy in Charlotte and considers it home, Bonnell adds.
- Unrealistic expectations led to the disappointment over Malik Monk‘s rookie season, Bonnell writes in the same piece. Fans were hoping Monk could be a difference maker when the Hornets took him with the 11th pick in last year’s draft, but he’s only 19 and still needs a lot of improvement on defense. Clifford notes that an ankle sprain over the summer slowed Monk’s development.
- Magic guard Elfrid Payton has been mentioned in trade rumors, but he is hoping to remain in Orlando and help the franchise improve, relays Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders. Payton has shown statistical improvement in his fourth NBA season, but the Magic remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. He is trying to ignore the trade talk and focus on the task at hand. “I don’t get caught up into the things like that,” Payton said. “Today I’m an Orlando Magic. I play for the Orlando Magic and I’m gonna give them 100 percent of me. I’m somebody that likes to finish what I started, so I definitely would like to see this through and try to turn this organization around.”