Rodney Hood

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Central Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if those players’ stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Central Division:

Justin Holiday, Bulls 29, SG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $9MM deal in 2017
Holiday is playing heavy minutes for the injury-riddled Bulls. His scoring average (12.0 PPG) is modest, given the amount of playing time he’s receiving, but he’s been solid from long range (38.9%) and rarely turns the ball over. His OBPM (Offensive Box Plus/Minus) is a career-best 1.7, according to Basketball Reference. Defensively, he leads the club in steals (1.6). Holiday probably won’t find a starting gig on the open market, but he’d be a solid second unit option on a playoff contender.

Rodney Hood, Cavaliers, 26, SG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $3.47MM deal in 2018
Hood accepted the Cavaliers’ qualifying offer as a restricted free agent over the summer with the aim of landing a lucrative mult-year pact as an unrestricted FA next summer. Thus far, Hood hasn’t really stood out from the pack on a struggling team. With Kevin Love sidelined by a foot injury, Hood had an opportunity to be a bigger offensive force. Instead, his numbers have declined. He averaged 14.0 PPG in 27.7 MPG last month but has posted a 9.3 PPG average in 26.0 MPG through four November outings.

Stanley Johnson, Pistons, 22, SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $12.85MM deal in 2015
Johnson didn’t receive a rookie scale extension and he’ll be a restricted free agent if the Pistons extend a $5.3MM qualifying offer after the season. Right now, that’s a big if. Johnson lost his starting job to Glenn Robinson III after shooting 35.2% overall and 25.0% from deep while committing 16 turnovers in seven starts. The Pistons are currently looking at Johnson as a small ball power forward off the bench. He’s looked comfortable in that role, posting back-to-back double-digit games while shooting with more confidence.

Tyreke Evans, Pacers, 29, SG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $12MM deal in 2018
Coming off a career year with the Grizzlies in which he averaged 19.3 PPG, Evans was expected to be one of the league’s premier sixth men. He’s still finding his way with a much more talented team, averaging 10.9 PPG, though he’s been fine beyond the arc (41.7%). In his last six games, Evans is averaging 10.0 PPG while shooting 38.2% from the field. Evans’ numbers should spike up but for now, he hasn’t done anything to make him more attractive on the open market than he was this summer.

Khris Middleton, Bucks, 27, SF (Up) – Signed to a five-year, $70MM deal in 2015
Middleton has a $13MM option on his contract for next season and it’s a foregone conclusion he’ll test the open market. His value continues to rise with his early-season performances. He’s the second-best player on a very good team, averaging 19.3 PPG and shooting a whopping 45.5% from long range. Throw in career bests in rebounding (5.2 per game) and assists (4.3) along with his solid defense and Middleton will be highly coveted in July.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Notes: Evans, Hood, Cavs, Pistons

An unrestricted free agent over the summer, Tyreke Evans received interest from teams like the Hornets and Lakers, but elected to join the Pacers. As J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star relays, the fact that the Pacers won 48 games and gave the eventual Eastern champs all they could handle in the postseason played a significant role in Evans’ decision.

“I figured out with the run they had, watching how they played and how the chemistry was, I thought I would fit well,” Evans said of the Pacers. “Even though a lot of people think it was a Cinderella run for them, I watch basketball a lot and I could tell the heart they played with in that first round. Throughout the season they played hard every night. I saw the fight in them. I wanted to be a part of that.”

Evans also said that he has no problem playing for a smaller-market team, noting that he could’ve ended up in L.A. but felt like the Pacers were a better fit for him.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

  • Speaking to Chris Fedor of, Rodney Hood acknowledged that it was tough to watch many of his fellow restricted free agents receive big-money deals this offseason while those lucrative offers didn’t materialize for him. Jabari [Parker] is like a brother to me and I know Marcus [Smart] — we came in the league together,” Hood said. “So I’m happy for them getting money and stuff like that. But I had to understand restricted free agency. At first, it was hard because I really didn’t. And I was thinking, ‘Alright, he got paid and I was supposed to.'” As Hood prepares for the biggest year of his career, the Cavaliers still want him to be part of their future beyond 2019, writes Terry Pluto of
  • Joe Vardon of The Athletic takes a closer look at the camp invitees vying for a roster spot with the Cavaliers, a group that includes Kobi Simmons, John Holland, Isaiah Taylor, and others.
  • Pistons camp invitee Zach Lofton has impressed the team this fall, as Keith Langlois of details. Detroit has 15 players on guaranteed salaries and two on two-way deals, but Lofton may be making a case to take over one of those two-way contract slots, tweets Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press.
  • In a piece for The Free Press, Ellis notes that the Pistons have been giving second-round pick Bruce Brown a look at point guard during the preseason, a move endorsed by Brown’s college coach Jim Larranaga. “The more I observed him and evaluated him, the more I realized his long-term potential is really as a point guard,” Larranaga said of the former Miami Hurricane. “I think he’s going to be a point guard in the NBA.”

Cavaliers Notes: Smith, Hood, Sexton, Lue

Tensions from the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals boiled over to the Cavaliers’ game against Boston on Saturday, with J.R. Smith in the middle of the preseason altercation between the teams.

Smith got tangled up with Celtics center Aron Baynes while going for a rebound in the first quarter, leading to Smith pushing the 6-foot-10 Baynes. Baynes’ teammate, Marcus Smart, quickly sprinted towards Smith and attempted to take a shot at him. The two have history, and mayhem ensued.

“For a guy who wants to be so tough in this situation, he leads the league in flops,” Smith said after the game, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “You can’t flop as much as you do and then be tough. How does that even work? And then you start slinging your teammates. Like, you didn’t come to play basketball today. Your coach told you you gotta play and you was frustrated, and then you try to take it out on somebody else.

“At the end of the day, I’m not going to sit here and lose money over trying to fight Marcus Smart. I’m not going to lose money over my tattoo, so why would I lose it over him.”

Smart was ejected from the game, Smith received a technical foul, and each could face additional penalties from the league office.  The two teams don’t meet again until November 30 at TD Garden.

There’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Rodney Hood is determined to prove himself this season with the Cavs, Vardon writes. Hood is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
  • Collin Sexton impressed in his debut at Quicken Loans Arena, writes Chris Fedor of Sexton finished with 13 points in 19 minutes of work, shooting 4-of-6 from the floor.
  • The Cavaliers are focused on scoring by committee this season, Basketball Insiders’ Spencer Davies relays. “When we’re playing that way—playing fast, moving the basketball, moving bodies—I think everyone can be effective in that situation,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “So we’ve got to score by committee where we need five, six guys in double figures.”

Rodney Hood Hopes To Remain With Cavs Long-Term

Rodney Hood accepted his one-year, $3.4MM qualifying offer from the Cavaliers earlier this month after a summer that didn’t go as planned. Despite settling for the deal that creates the quickest path to unrestricted free agency, the Duke product says he hopes to parlay the QO into a long-term contract with the Cavs.

“I believe strongly in myself that after this year, I’ll be able to make Cleveland my home and we’ll get a better deal next summer,” Hood tells Joe Vardon of

“Just because he signed the qualifying offer, he’s not on the first train out of here,” Hood’s agent Travis King said. “He plans to stay in Cleveland.”

Hood struggled during limited action in the playoffs for the Cavaliers and was relegated to the bench. He also reportedly refused to enter a postseason game against the Raptors during garbage-time minutes. Then, once he hit the restricted free agent market, teams weren’t willing to make a hefty investment in the 25-year-old.

Hood was reportedly seeking a deal with annual values in the $10-12MM range. According to his agent, he only received offers in the $5-8MM range.

“At first I kind of felt bad for myself, but then it was like I don’t want to feel this feeling again, sitting on the bench, or playing 8-10 minutes a game,” Hood said. “I want to be a big part of a really good team, so that was my focus this whole summer.”

The Cavaliers offered Hood a multi-year pact for roughly $7MM per season, a source tells Vardon. Hood told the scribe that he wasn’t “comfortable” accepting that offer from the Cavs. He hopes to sign a more lucrative deal with Cleveland next offseason.

“My twins were born here,” Hood said. “I like the community, even though I haven’t been out there a lot. I want to make this a home. It’s just didn’t happen this summer. That’s how I look at it.”

Cavaliers Notes: Love, Trades, Hood

The Cavaliers will need Kevin Love to post the type of numbers he put up regularly in Minnesota for them to remain a playoff contender after the departure of LeBron James, writes Joe Vardon of Love had an eventful off-season, highlighted by his 30th birthday last week and a four-year, $120MM extension in July.

Love was an All-Star with the Timberwolves before a trade brought him to Cleveland to be part of a Big Three with James and Kyrie Irving. That trio reached three straight NBA Finals and won the 2016 title before Irving was traded to Boston last summer.

Love played 59 games last season and made his fifth All-Star appearance, but he was sidelined for much of the year by a broken hand. He has become the face of the franchise now, Vardon notes, and the Cavaliers will be expecting much more than the 17.6 PPG and 9.3 RPG he averaged last year.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers should ignore calls to trade Love and accelerate the rebuilding process, David Aldridge of TNT writes in a mailbag column. Cleveland doesn’t have a great history of attracting free agents, Aldridge argues, and that path would be much more difficult without an elite player on the roster. Love can keep the Cavs competitive for the next couple of seasons, then be traded if the organization decides to commit to a youth movement.
  • Rodney Hood will be competing against a talented group of shooting guards when he becomes unrestricted free agent next summer, notes Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report. After failing to get a contract he liked as a restricted free agent, Hood opted to accept Cleveland’s $3,472,887 qualifying offer, reportedly turning down a three-year deal from the team in the neighborhood of $21MM. Also hitting the open market next summer will be Klay Thompson, J.J. Redick, Tyreke Evans, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Austin Rivers, Mario HezonjaDanny Green, Terrence Ross and Jeremy Lamb.
  • Hood’s body of work through his first four seasons suggests his best days might still be ahead of him despite his playoff struggles, Joe Gabriele of the team’s website opines. Hood could have a breakout season since he’ll have more of a scoring and leadership role with the James-less Cavs, Gabriele adds.

Central Notes: Hood, Leuer, Cavs

It’s official, Rodney Hood‘s long, humbling summer is over. We wrote earlier today that the restricted free agent was planning to accept his qualifying offer from the Cavaliers and now, per Shams Charania of The Athletic, the paperwork has been submitted.

Hood will land back in Cleveland for one season at $3.4MM but will try his luck again as an unrestricted free agent next summer. While Hood had initially hoped to land an eight-digit offer sheet and put pressure on the Cavaliers to match, such a generous offer never materialized.

As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets, prior to Hood’s decision to sign the qualifying offer both he and the Cavaliers explored sign and trade options. Alas, the 25-year-old didn’t quite command what many – including us here at Hoops Rumors, admittedly – thought he might.

There’s more out of the Central Division this evening:

  • The Pistons need Jon Leuer to earn the $20MM he’s owed over the course of the next two seasons if they’re going to procure the frontcourt depth that they’ll need to compete in the East. Realistically, Keith Langlois of the team’s official site writes, they’ll look for the 29-year-old big man to slot in at both power forward and center and provide solid defense off the bench.
  • The Cavaliers have their work cut out for them building another serious contender in the Eastern Conference, fortunately the club isn’t afraid to take risks. Joe Gabriele of the Cavs’ team site recently broke down the biggest trades in club history.
  • Want to know more about Rodney Hood‘s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad summer? Check out our summary of the initial announcement that he’d accepted the Cavaliers‘ qualifying offer, as well as some reporting about how he was angling for twice as much as recently as yesterday.

Rodney Hood Accepts Cavaliers’ Qualifying Offer

Restricted free agent wing Rodney Hood has accepted the Cavaliers‘ one-year qualifying offer, reports Joe Vardon of The one-year deal, worth $3,472,887, will set up Hood to become an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2019.

Hood, who was traded from the Jazz to the Cavs midway through the 2017/18 season, struggled to produce consistently with his new club, averaging just 10.8 PPG on .442/.352/.813 shooting in 21 regular season games with Cleveland before falling out of the rotation for part of the postseason. He had recorded 16.8 PPG with a .424/.389/.876 shooting line in 39 contests for Utah.

Having spent more than two months as a restricted free agent, Hood was in a tough spot, given the lack of teams left with roster spots and the willingness to spend big on an offer sheet. According to Vardon, Hood was seeking a long-term contract in the range of $9MM per year.

The Cavs had been willing to offer a multiyear deal worth approximately $7MM annually, per Vardon, which the 25-year-old turned down in a bet on himself. If he has a big year in 2018/19 as a primary option in Cleveland’s offense, Hood could be in line for a bigger payday in 2019, when more teams will have cap space available. The Cavs will still hold his Bird rights at that time.

With Hood back in the fold and David Nwaba having signed a one-year, minimum-salary pact with the Cavaliers, the club is moving closer to being ready for opening night. The Cavs will now have 14 players with fully guaranteed salaries, totaling about $115.7MM. Isaiah Taylor will also attend training camp on a non-guaranteed contract, and the club figures to fill out its 20-man offseason roster with a few more camp invitees in the coming weeks.

A players who accepts his qualifying offer as a restricted free agent receives an implicit no-trade clause for that league year, since they’d lose their Bird rights if they’re traded. As such, Hood won’t be able to be dealt without his consent during the 2018/19 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hood Still Seeking Better Offer From Cavaliers

Restricted free agent Rodney Hood is still trying to get the Cavaliers to increase their current offer, which is about $7MM annually over three years, according to Joe Vardon of If they can’t come to an agreement, Hood could opt to accept the team’s $3.4MM qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Cleveland has 13 players under contract after David Nwaba‘s signing became official yesterday. The 14th spot is being held open for Hood, and the final opening will be determined by what happens in training camp. The Cavs went with a 14-man roster for much of last season because of luxury tax concerns.

Hood, 25, came to Cleveland in February in a deadline deal with the Jazz. He struggled to find a role during 21 regular season games, then cratered in the playoffs, averaging 5.4 points per night while shooting 42% from the field and 17% from 3-point range. Still, the Cavaliers like his potential and believe he can help replace some of the scoring that was lost when LeBron James left for the Lakers.

Hood saw a lot of leverage disappear this summer as teams used up their cap space. The only team that still has its full $8.641MM mid-level exceptions available, aside from Cleveland, is Utah, which reportedly isn’t interested in bringing back Hood.

Central Rumors: Cavs Roster, Kennard, Lopez

The Cavaliers plan to leave an open spot on the roster heading into training camp, Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Cleveland currently has 12 players on guaranteed deals and has filled both of its two-way slots. The Cavs are holding spots for both restricted free agent Rodney Hood, whose negotiations with the organization have stalled, and free agent guard David Nwaba, who has agreed to a contract but is still working out all the details, according to Vardon. Training-camp invitees will battle for the final spot on the 15-man roster, Vardon adds.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers will allow the remainder of their trade exception from the Kyrie Irving deal to expire on Wednesday but they still have two more exceptions, Vardon notes in the same piece. It has exceptions of $2.5MM and $1.3MM from the deal that sent Richard Jefferson and Kay Felder to the Hawks last season. Those exceptions expire on October 15th.
  • Pistons swingman Luke Kennard could have an expanded role in his second season, according to Ansar Khan of New coach Dwane Casey wants Kennard to handle the ball more often and become a playmaker, Khan continues. He could see action at three positions, though he will primarily back up Reggie Bullock at shooting guard, Khan adds.
  • Free agent acquisitions Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova fit the current NBA model of big men who can stretch the floor, Bucks GM Jon Horst declares in a video clip posted on the team’s Twitter feed“With Brook and Ersan, you have guys that have great size, that can shoot the three. They compete on both ends of the floor and have high basketball IQ,” Horst said.

Contract Talks Between Cavs, Hood Have Stalled

Contract talks between the Cavaliers and restricted free agent Rodney Hood have stalled for the time being, a source familiar with the negotiations tells Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Schultz, Hood seems to be seeking a short-term deal that he feels is “fair,” but the Cavs have yet to put an offer on the table that he deems acceptable.

The Cavaliers appear to have earmarked a roster spot and a portion of team salary below the luxury-tax threshold for Hood, but have been unable to find common ground with one of the last two restricted free agents on the market. A recent report indicated that Cleveland is interested in re-signing Hood to a three-year deal — it’s not clear if that would work for the 25-year-old or if he’s seeking an even shorter term in order to return to free agency sooner.

Hood’s leverage is limited due to the lack of viable suitors left for him around the NBA. The Kings are the only team with significant cap room still available, but Sacramento has 15 players on guaranteed contracts and seems unlikely to make a play for the Cavs swingman at this point.

Hood can’t even realistically seek an offer sheet worth the full mid-level exception, since only two teams still hold that $8.641MM exception — one is the Cavs and one is the Jazz, who reportedly don’t have interest in a reunion with their former first-round pick.

The threat of signing his one-year, $3.47MM qualifying offer may help improve Hood’s position in negotiations, since he’ll be in line for a larger role in Cleveland in 2018/19 and could increase his stock in time for unrestricted free agency next summer. Still, taking that path would be a risk for Hood, since there’s no guarantee he’ll get better multiyear offers in 2019 than what the Cavs are offering now.