Rodney Hood

Batum, DeRozan Among Players With Earlier Option Decision Deadlines

Most veterans who have player options in their contracts for the 2020/21 season will have an October 17 deadline to either exercise or decline that option. That Saturday represents the second-last day of the 2019/20 league year under the NBA’s new calendar, meaning it would coincide in a normal year with June 29, the usual player option decision deadline.

However, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, some of the players who have to make option decisions for 2020/21 have slightly earlier deadlines. For instance, if the Spurs don’t make the postseason, DeMar DeRozan will be required to make his decision within seven days of the team’s last game, per Marks.

The full list of player options for ’20/21 can be found on our free agents page, but here are the options which must be exercised or declined before October 17, according to Marks:

The rest of this season’s player option decisions must be made by October 17, a deadline that applies to nearly every team option for 2020/21 as well. The only team options with earlier decision dates are minimum-salary ones for Deonte Burton (Thunder) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Pistons), which are due by October 15, per Marks.

Northwest Notes: Hood, Craig, Timberwolves, Jazz

After tearing his left Achilles on December 6, Trail Blazers wing Rodney Hood began pondering his life after the league and joined a small support group of fellow NBA players currently on or recently off the rehab trail from the injury, according to ESPN’s Eric Woodyard.

“I reach out to Kevin Durant or Wesley Matthews, DeMarcus Cousins,” Hood said. “The guys who have been through it, and I just get confident more and more every day.”

With the encouragement of his wife Richa, a fellow Duke alum, Hood re-enrolled in school to complete his undergraduate degree: “I want to do something special… And getting a degree from Duke is special, especially coming from where I come from.” Prior to his injury, the 6’8″ southpaw sported a slash line of 11.0 PPG/3.4 RPG/1.5 APG across 21 games in 2019. He connected on 50.6% of his shots from the floor, a whopping 49.3% on 3.4 three-point attempts, and 77.8% from the charity stripe.

Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Nuggets forward and 2020 restricted free agent Torrey Craig could parlay his play in Orlando into a big contract when the NBA resumes its season this summer, according to The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider. Craig, a two-way threat in spot minutes on a deep Denver squad whose counting stats belie his skills, is currently a steal as he wraps up a two-year, $4MM contract.
  • Due to the financial impact caused by COVID-19 closures, Glen Taylor and the ownership group behind the Timberwolves, Lynx, and Iowa Wolves has laid off 18 members of their full-time staff and reduced pay for employees making $70K or more, per a statement cited by The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski (Twitter link). ESPN echoes the news.
  • Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell has been conducting workouts with teammates Royce O’Neale, Jordan Clarkson, Rayjon Tucker and Miye Oni at the Sports Academy in Newbury Park, California, according to Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Mitchell, 23, has been having a breakout season in Utah, setting career highs in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and three-point percentage. The Jazz are 41-23, the No. 4 seed in the West, thanks especially to the sterling offense of Mitchell and the stellar defense of center Rudy Gobert.

Rodney Hood Expects To Return To Trail Blazers

Rodney Hood, whose 2019/20 season came to an early end in December when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon, fully expects to stick with the Trail Blazers for at least one more season, as Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian details.

“One thing I know is that I’ll be in a Portland Trail Blazers uniform next year,” Hood said. “As far as the contract and all that type of stuff, that will work itself out when that time comes, but I fully expect to be in a Portland Trail Blazers uniform next year.”

Hood’s comments don’t come as a surprise — he has a $6MM player option for the 2020/21 season, and since he won’t be fully recovered from that Achilles injury by the start of the offseason, it wouldn’t make sense for him to opt for free agency. The only scenario in which he wouldn’t return to Portland for next season would be if the Blazers decide to trade him.

As for Hood’s recovery process, it was interrupted to some extent by the suspension of the NBA season, but the 27-year-old has been granted permission to continue visiting the Blazers’ practice facility for rehab purposes.

As Goldberg writes, Portland’s president of basketball operations Neil Olshey and director of player health and performance Jesse Elis worked with the NBA to ensure that Hood can continue rehabbing with physical therapist and sports scientist Logan Sullivan, as long as they follow enhanced safety measures.

“I’ve been working out with Logan three days a week,” Hood said. “It’s just one-on-one contact. We can’t be in group settings or nothing like that. Usually, when it’s me and him working together, it’s just us two in the weight room or the training room. We’re getting a lot of work in. It’s been very good. I’ve been making a lot of progress, even with everything going on.”

Hood, 27, has been the Blazers’ starting small forward prior to his injury, averaging 11.0 PPG and 3.4 RPG with an impressive .506/.493/.778 shooting line in 21 games (29.5 MPG).

Western Notes: Suns, Gallinari, Hood, Lakers, Mudiay

After the Suns waived Tyler Johnson earlier this week, head coach Monty Williams said Johnson’s replacement on the roster will get the chance to be part of the team’s longer-term plans rather than just being a rental for the rest of the 2019/20 season, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic relays.

Word broke this afternoon that, for now, Jonah Bolden will be the player occupying the roster spot that Johnson previously held. Bolden is only getting a 10-day contract and could end up being a short-term solution as the Suns deal with a bevy of frontcourt injuries. However, if he makes a strong impression during his first few games with the team, a second 10-day contract and perhaps even a multiyear deal could follow. If not, Phoenix may look elsewhere for a player that can fit into the club’s plans beyond this season.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • After holding onto Danilo Gallinari through the trade deadline, the Thunder may explore sign-and-trade scenarios for the veteran forward this offseason, according to Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman, who is skeptical that the rebuilding squad will be enthusiastic about a pricey multiyear contract for a player entering his age-32 season.
  • Trail Blazers swingman Rodney Hood, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles, spoke to Casey Holdahl of about his recovery process and sounded like someone who plans to pick up his 2020/21 player option. “I really want to get back as soon as possible so I can help our goal toward a championship next year,” Hood said.
  • Some rival executives believe there are holes on the Lakers‘ roster and are skeptical of the team’s chances to defeat the Clippers in a seven-game series, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. With those critiques in mind, Pincus explores what options the Lakers might have on the buyout market in the coming weeks.
  • With Mike Conley healthy again, Emmanuel Mudiay has mostly fallen out of the Jazz‘s rotation for the time being. However, that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t need Mudiay, says Tony Jones of The Athletic.

Blazers Granted Disabled Player Exception For Rodney Hood

The NBA has approved the Trail Blazers‘ application for a disabled player exception, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Portland submitted the request earlier this month after losing Rodney Hood to a season-ending Achilles injury.

As we explained in a previous story, the Blazers’ DPE for Hood will be worth $2,859,000, half of his 2019/20 salary ($5,718,000). The exception allows the club to sign a replacement player to a one-year contract, or to acquire a player on an expiring contract via trade or waivers, assuming his salary fits into the exception. It doesn’t provide an extra roster spot, though Portland already has an opening on its 15-man squad anyway.

Although the disabled player exception will give the franchise some added flexibility, the Blazers have the highest payroll of any NBA team for the ’19/20 season and would be on the hook for added tax penalties if they continue to increase team salary. As such, it would be a bit surprising if the club uses the DPE to sign a player for more than the veteran’s minimum.

The Blazers will have until March 10 to make use their disabled player exception. It will expire at that point if it hasn’t been utilized.

Our breakdown of which teams hold disabled player exceptions and which clubs have applied for them can be found right here.

Blazers Apply For Disabled Player Exception For Rodney Hood

In the wake of Rodney Hood‘s season-ending Achilles injury, the Trail Blazers have applied for a disabled player exception, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Given the projected timeline for Hood’s recovery, it seems likely that the NBA will grant Portland’s request.

As we outline in our glossary entry on the disabled player exception, a team can apply for a DPE to replace a seriously injured player. In order for the exception to be granted, an NBA-designated physician must determine that the player is “substantially more likely than not” to be sidelined through at least June 15 of that league year.

If granted, the disabled player exception allows a club to sign a replacement player for 50% of the injured player’s salary, or for the amount of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception, whichever is lesser. In the case of Hood, the exception would be worth $2,859,000, half of his 2019/20 salary ($5,718,000).

The DPE, which doesn’t give a team an extra roster spot, can also be used to acquire a player on an expiring contract via trade or waivers if his salary fits into the exception.

[RELATED: 2019/20 Disabled Player Exceptions]

The Blazers have the highest payroll of any NBA team for the 2019/20 season and would be on the hook for added tax penalties if they continue to increase team salary. Still, it doesn’t hurt to apply for a disabled player exception. If granted, the DPE will give Portland some added flexibility in free agency and on the trade market, but the team doesn’t necessarily have to use it.

The Pelicans (Darius Miller) and Lakers (DeMarcus Cousins) have been granted disabled player exceptions so far this season, and the Wizards recently requested one following C.J. Miles‘ season-ending wrist surgery.

Rodney Hood Out For Season With Torn Achilles Tendon

DECEMBER 11: Hood underwent successful surgery today to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon, the Blazers announced in a press release. While the club didn’t provide a timeline for his recovery, it’s a safe bet that he’ll miss at least the rest of the 2019/20 season, as noted below.

DECEMBER 7: Rodney Hood will miss the rest of the regular season after tearing his left Achilles tendon Friday night, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN.

The Trail Blazers‘ swingman suffered the injury in the first quarter of a game against the Lakers while battling for a rebound with JaVale McGee. Hood grabbed the ball, then fell to the court in pain. He was helped to the locker room, where an MRI confirmed the damage.

“I’m very sad,” coach Terry Stotts said. “Very disappointed for Rodney, who was having a good year for us. I hate for anybody to have an injury like that takes them out for the season. So I feel for him.”

Hood had started all 21 games in his first full season in Portland and was averaging 11.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per night while shooting 49.3% from 3-point range. He was acquired from Cleveland at last year’s trade deadline to provide some shooting help for the playoffs.

Hood said he tweaked his Achilles during Wednesday’s game, but Stotts told Friedell that he may have hurt it even earlier. The Blazers’ medical staff cleared him to play Friday night.

“It’s tough, man,” Damian Lillard said. “You hate to see injuries in the league, period. You hate to see one of your teammates go down to an injury like that, especially a starter and somebody that was really a good person having a great season, fitting in really well with our team, a big part of what we do. You feel for him personally more than anything. Just sad to see that happen to him.”

Hood’s progress in rehab will factor into his decision on a modest $6MM player option for next year. His performance could have led to a much bigger payday, but taking the money may be the safest option if the injury threatens to sideline him into next season.

Western Notes: Morant, Harrell, Hood, Gasol, Murray

The Grizzlies are playing Ja Morant limited minutes and they plan to keep it that way for the foreseeable future, David Cobb of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Morant played fewer than 30 minutes in four of his first five games, with the exception coming during an overtime game. Coach Taylor Jenkins hopes the approach will keep the second overall pick and anointed floor leader fresh during the 82-game schedule. “I’ve always been a big believer, you start playing in the mid-30s (minutes per game) you kind of wear down,” Jenkins said. “Our rookies, including him, have never played 82 games in a season.”

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Forward Montrezl Harrell continues to prove his worth to the Clippers, Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times writes. Harrell, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, is averaging 19.3 PPG and 5.9 RPG to help the team weather the injury absence of Paul George. After acquiring him in the Chris Paul deal with Houston, the Clippers were so unsure about Harrell that they considered waiving him during the summer of 2017, according to Elliott.
  • Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood suffered a knee injury on Saturday but he didn’t sustain any structural damage, Jason Quick of The Athletic reports. The team’s medical staff determined that Hood has a bone bruise. Hood re-signed with Portland this offseason on a two-year, $11.7MM contract. Veteran center Pau Gasol, who joined Portland on a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract, has ramped up his workouts as he continues rehab from offseason foot surgery. Gasol did a series of shooting drills after a shootaround last week.
  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has become a more vocal leader this season and his teammates appreciate the change, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic relays. “I think it’s big-time,” fellow guard Monte Morris said. “If he’s going to be our starting point guard, everybody’s going to look for him to lead us.”
  • Nikola Jokic‘s numbers are down and Nuggets coach Michael Malone says his center must get more aggressive, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post. He’s averaging 15.8 PPG, 4.3 PPG down from his average last season, while taking 2.6 fewer shots per game. “I don’t think he is, in terms of people thinking he’s checked out or not playing hard,” Malone said. “I don’t see that as the case at all. … I just have to make sure I keep on reminding him of how important he is to us, being aggressive and setting the tone.” Jokic is in the second year of a five-year, $147.7MM contract.

Blazers Notes: Hood, Kanter, McCollum, Aldridge

Shooting guard Rodney Hood surprised the Trail Blazers by accepting the $5.72MM taxpayer mid-level exception, Jason Quick of The Athletic reports.

Portland was hoping to bring back center Enes Kanter at that number, but he balked. Blazers GM Neil Olshey thought Hood wanted more in free agency but was pleasantly surprised by Hood’s decision.

Olshey then shifted gears to finding a starting-quality center and got involved in the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade to Miami, winding up with Hassan Whiteside by dealing Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard.

We have more on the Blazers:

  • Backcourt partners CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard are now locked up long-term after McCollum signed a three-year, $100MM extension and they’re excited about that prospect, as he told Quick in a separate story. “It’s a special time,” McCollum said. “(Lillard and I) talked about being in Portland, making a staple here and winning a championship here, and all those things. We’ve crossed off a lot of goals individually and collectively, but I think that both of us being here for the long haul, and both of us being able to grow together and win together is something that people will remember for a long time.”
  • Pau Gasol, who recently signed with the Blazers, said former Spurs teammate LaMarcus Aldridge has spoken highly of Portland and may want to play there again, Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report tweets. Aldridge said last season he and Lillard had spoken about the prospect of becoming teammates again. Aldridge’s $24MM contract for the 2020/21 season is not guaranteed, so it’s conceivable that could occur as soon as next summer.
  • If you missed the details on McCollum’s extension, you can find it all here.

Rodney Hood Re-Signs With Blazers

JULY 6: The Blazers have offically re-signed Hood, the team confirmed today in a press release.

JUNE 30: Free agent Rodney Hood has agreed to stay with the Trail Blazers on a two-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

While Woj pegs the value at $16MM, Jason Quick of The Athletic reports that the agreement will be worth $5.7MM next season and contains a $6MM player option for the following season. Those numbers make more sense, as Portland doesn’t have Hood’s Bird rights and likely will be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception.

Portland acquired Hood in a deal with Cleveland prior to the trade deadline last season, using his scoring and energy off the bench heading into the playoffs. The team recently traded for Kent Bazemore as insurance on the wing if Hood committed elsewhere, but the two sides were able to finalize an agreement less than an hour into free agency.

Hood, 26, averaged 9.6 points per game in 27 contests with the Blazers this season, shooting 45% from the floor and 35% from 3-point range. He was the No. 23 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft to Utah.