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Cavs Solidify Roster, Ink Rodney Hood
Maybe it’s his demeanor on and off the court, but sometimes it’s hard to believe that Rodney Hood is still just 25 years old. In the world of bombast and braggadocio that sometimes embodies professional sports, Rodney Hood is a quiet storm.
On Monday, the Wine & Gold kept their young swingman in the fold – inking him to a deal to remain in Cleveland for the upcoming season. And with exactly two weeks remaining before Training Camp tips off, the Cavaliers are inching closer to rounding out this year’s roster.
Some fans might still be smarting from Hood’s struggles during last season’s Playoff run – where the former Duke standout struggled to find his rhythm – averaging just 7.4 points per in 17 contests, earning five DNP-CDs along the way. But examining Hood’s body of work through his first four seasons portends a player trending upward and whose best days might still be ahead of him.
The meteoric emergence of Donovan Mitchell in Utah made Hood expendable last season, and he was part of the mass influx of players acquired at last year’s deadline. Even with Mitchell’s rise, the 6-8 lefty was still averaging a career-best 16.8 points per before coming to Cleveland on February 8 in a three-team deal (along with Sacramento) that sent Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Salt Lake City.
The 23rd pick of the 2014 Draft, Hood made an immediate impact upon arrival – coming off the bench to tally 15 points in a drubbing of Boston in his Cavaliers debut. Hood proceeded to notch double-figures in seven of his next 10 outings and, after returning from a calf injury, did so in six of his final nine games – including a 16-point effort in a late-season win over Brooklyn at The Q, converting a three-point play to seal a win over the Nets.
It was a different story of Hood in the Playoffs. He started the first game of the postseason – finishing with nine points on 4-of-8 shooting in a loss to the Pacers – but came off the bench the rest of the way.
Midway through the First Round series, he and his wife welcomed twins into the world, and it took him until late in the postseason before he regained his rhythm – falling briefly out of Tyronn Lue’s rotation and not seeing significant action until the final two games of the NBA Finals – averaging 12.5 points and 7.0 boards as the Warriors completed their sweep.
”It's been different, you know, playing time has been different,” Hood said at the time. “The role has been different. It's been fun just to get a chance to learn from these guys and to be on this stage. I really feel like at this point everything that's happened thus far really -- I don't want to say don't matter because it all counts towards getting here. But it's like a clean slate, and it's to win it all.”
Overall, Hood averaged 14.7 points per with both Utah and Cleveland last year. And this year, he’ll be asked to pick up more of a scoring and leadership role with the new-look Cavaliers – and he’ll have another clean slate to work with when the Wine & Gold tip off in Toronto on October 17.