One of the few remaining notable free agents has finally signed a deal for next season. Entering the 2017-18 season, most would have expected Rodney Hood to come into this summer commanding at least a reasonable amount of attention in free agency, even as a restricted free agent.
However, after being dealt from Utah to Cleveland at the deadline and struggling for much of his time with the Cavs — most notably seeing him choose not to enter a playoff game in garbage time — Hood came into free agency with little buzz. The 25-year-old shooting guard has found himself without anything relating to a substantial offer for more than two months, as the few teams that had money blew through their cap space quickly this offseason.
With no real market, and the always likely scenario of Hood returning to Cleveland with the Cavs matching most reasonable offers, he’s decided to sign his qualifying offer to make $3.4 million and become an unrestricted free agent next season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the two sides explored sign-and-trade options, but were unable to work anything out and Hood never received an offer from Cleveland for substantial money.
Taking the qualifying offer is something few restricted free agents do, typically opting for the financial security of a longer term deal, but in this case, it’s a very wise choice. Hood’s current value is about as low as it can be, given the way he played alongside LeBron and the questions teams will have about his decision to not enter that playoff game. Now, he can spend a year with a Cleveland team with lower expectations and, thus, less pressure and more opportunity to simply play his game and raise his value entering a free agency summer where far more teams will have space.