The Utah Jazz have struggled mightily this season, and while some of that is explainable with the injury issues facing Rudy Gobert, the team still appears to be at something of a crossroads. It is, of course, very nice to have a prospect like rookie guard Donovan Mitchell on board, and Gobert is still a tremendous player. Still, some of the other assets for the Jazz have seen their value diminish recently, and swingman Rodney Hood could be added to that list.
Hood, who is already 25 years old, is an established scorer at the NBA level and is shooting a career-best 38.6 percent from three-point range this season. In the same breath, the former Duke standout hasn’t quite made “the leap” that was expected by some, and as a result, Marc Stein of The New York Times is now reporting the Jazz could be seeking a deal to move him before the trade deadline.
In short order, the report was also confirmed by Zach Lowe of ESPN.
Hood is a big-time bargain for the 2017-2018 season, making less than $2.5 million for the Jazz. However, he is due to hit restricted free agency in July, and while he could conceivably come back to Utah on a bargain deal, that particular part of the free agent market can be volatile, and the Jazz have a quite a bit of money tied up in other roster assets.
Will the Jazz be looking to give Hood away for the simple pleasure of doing so? Absolutely not, but Utah is clearly performing due diligence here on a player who could be an auxiliary fit with the emergence of Mitchell at the shooting guard spot. Up-and-coming teams with flexible salary cap situations could be looking to add Hood to their units for the future, and considering his small current cap number, teams looking to acquire his match rights for the summer could also come calling. Stay tuned.