Trail Blazers wing Rodney Hood will pass on his $6MM option for the 2020/21 season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Hood will become a free agent later this week.
Hood’s decision is somewhat surprising, as he spent most of this past season recovering from an Achilles tear that he suffered last December. The expectation was that he’d play it safe coming off that injury, picking up his option and setting himself up for 2021 free agency as he regains his old form over the course of the season.
However, Wojnarowski suggests that Hood – who has had nearly a full year to recover from his Achilles surgery – will be able to play immediately with a new team. It’s not clear if a reunion with the Trail Blazers on a new contract is still in play for the 28-year-old or if he’s committed to seeking a new home.
Before his injury, Hood was playing extremely well as Portland’s starting small forward, averaging 11.0 PPG and 3.4 RPG on .506/.493/.778 shooting in 21 games (29.5 MPG). While that three-point percentage is well above his career average, Hood is a fairly reliable shooter and a solid defender, making him a nice fit on the wing for most teams.
While the Blazers are now at risk of losing Hood, removing his $6MM option salary from their books puts the team in good position to use its full mid-level exception, worth about $9.3MM.