Cavaliers guard Rodney Hood is leaving the Eastern Conference netherworld for a chance at glory in the West.
Reportedly highly pursued, Hood will help the Portland Trail Blazers navigate the tightly bunched Western Conference playoff race after agreeing to a trade Sunday afternoon.
The Cavs acquired shooting guard Nik Stauskas, point guard Wade Baldwin and second-round picks in 2021 and ’23, with a league source confirming a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Because Hood was playing on a one-year qualifying offer, he had to approve going to Portland and waive his Bird rights.
As of Sunday afternoon, the Trail Blazers were 32-20 and fourth in the West standings, while the 11-42 Cavs had the third-worst record in the league.
Mired in a rebuilding season forced by the free agency departure of LeBron James and Kevin Love’s foot injury in the preseason opener that required surgery, the Cavs continue to build an impressive treasure chest.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the Cavs have turned Kyle Korver, George Hill, Sam Dekker and Hood into one first-round draft pick and six second-rounders.
Stauskas and Baldwin are also in the final year of their contracts.
With the league’s trade deadline Thursday at 3 p.m., the Cavs could also move guard Alec Burks. Acquired in trade from the Utah Jazz for Korver, Burks is also in the final year of his deal.
Stauskas, 25, hasn’t started a game since March 2017 for the Philadelphia 76ers. The eighth overall pick in 2014 out of Michigan by the Sacramento Kings, Stauskas (6-foot-6 and 205 pounds) averaged 6.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 44 games for the Blazers this season, shooting .419 from the field and .344 from 3-point range. His career scoring average is 6.1.
Stauskas signed a one-year, $1.6 million free agent contract with the Blazers on July 5.
Baldwin, 22, was selected 17th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2016 out of Vanderbilt, but has just one career start. He signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with Portland in March 2018, but has spent extensive time in the G League. In 16 games for the Blazers, Baldwin (6-4 and 200) averaged 1.9 points, shooting .303 from the field and .222 from 3-point range. His career average is 3.1 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 56 games.
Hood came to Cleveland from Utah in the massive roster overhaul at the deadline last February. In 66 games and 56 starts with the Cavs, he scored 11.7 points per game, with 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists. In 45 games, all starts, this season, Hood averaged 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists, shooting .427 from the field, .362 on 3s and .912 from the free-throw line.
Hood was prepared for the approaching deadline this time around. A restricted free agent last summer with hopes of a long-term contract, Hood ended up accepting a one-year, $3.47 million qualifying offer from the Cavs on Sept. 9.
“It’s good to know people appreciate you,” Hood said at shootaround Saturday morning. “Being a part of a trade doesn’t always mean you’re not a good player — it means they want to do something different for their organization.
“As long as you have a job, I’m providing for my family, I’m blessed and you move forward. There’s no malice towards anything. It’s basketball. I’m healthy. I’m playing the game I love.”
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