Rodney Hood gambled on himself and lost — at least in the short term.
Finding little to no interest around the league, the restricted free agent accepted the Cavaliers’ $3.4 million qualifying offer over the weekend and the team officially announced his signing Monday.
A 6-foot-8 shooting guard/small forward who struggled mightily after joining the Cavs from the Utah Jazz, Hood opted out of a deal with Cleveland early in the summer that would have paid him approximately $7 million in 2018-19.
The 25-year-old, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, was reportedly seeking a deal worth about $9 million.
Exactly what Hood’s role will be with the rebuilding Cavs in the coming season is unclear. He has the talent to start, but will have to win over coach Tyronn Lue and battle the likes of Jordan Clarkson, J.R. Smith, David Nwaba, Cedi Osman and Kyle Korver for playing time.
Hood had a few big games with the Cavs last season, but was largely a non-factor in the playoffs, when he averaged 5.4 points and shot just .167 on 3-pointers.
The left-hander’s postseason plus-minus of minus-93 was the worst of any player in the 2018 playoffs, and after starting Game 1 in the first round against the Indiana Pacers, he fell completely out of the rotation for a long stretch.
In one game, Hood even declined to enter in garbage time. He finished the postseason with 17 appearances, most coming in mop-up time, and averaged 1.8 rebounds in 15.3 minutes.
In 21 games with the Cavs (11 starts) during the regular season, Hood averaged
10.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 25.3 minutes. He was acquired as part of a three-team deal Feb. 8, 2018.
Hood had been prospering with the Jazz prior to the move and finished 2017-18 averaging 14.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 26.9 minutes, but struggled to fit in on a team that had LeBron James, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
Hood was selected by the Jazz with the No. 23 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He owns career averages of 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 27.5 minutes and has appeared in the playoffs in two seasons, averaging 6.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 19.2 minutes over 28 games.
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