With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, the San Antonio Spurs may be interested in trading for Cavaliers swingman Rodney Hood.
Bolstering depth and securing new additions via trade is never a bad option, especially for a competing team hoping to secure a playoff berth and sustain its winning tradition. The San Antonio Spurs are sitting on a small fortune with two first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, their own and the pick acquired from Toronto along with DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl.
For as deep as the team is, the backup small forward position has been tricky for head coach Gregg Popovich. With Dante Cunningham logging occasional minutes off the pine and Marco Belinelli slotting over at the 3, San Antonio doesn’t have a go-to small forward off the bench.
Enter Rodney Hood, a 6-foot-7 small forward with exquisite range and the ability to put the ball on the deck with precision en route to easy baskets. Although he sometimes gets lost in the poor defensive game plan of the tanking Cavaliers, Hood is generally a respectable on-ball defender with shifty movement and an ever-growing eye for passing lanes.
In an article written by broadcaster and reporter Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, it was implied that the San Antonio Spurs have maintained interest in Hood going into the deadline. The Cavs are enticed by the idea of returning a first-round pick one exchange for the fifth-year product of the Duke Blue Devils by way of Mississippi State.
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Hood is posting a modest stat line of 12.2 points, 2 assists and 2.5 rebounds on just 42.7 percent from the field. His three-point shot has remained steady, as his 36.2 percent three-point mark ranks slightly above league-average.
Much of the intrigue behind acquiring Hood comes from his potential. At only 26 years of age, Hood has some real time to grow and develop his game. With the proper structure and tutelage around him, Hood can expand on a well-rounded skill set and become a vital rotational piece for San Antonio at the right price. For as late in the first round as Toronto’s pick is expected to fall, it’s still not worth giving up for Hood alone. Late first-rounders are Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford’s specialty, so the potential for that pick is endless and Hood is on an expiring deal. If the dynamic duo is going to sacrifice this pick, it will be for a more impactful overall haul.
If Pop and Buford can somehow acquire real rotational pieces while attaching the pick to Pau Gasol’s massive contract then the Spurs could end up on the brighter side of a deal, but they’ll likely be weary. The front office will analyze all of their options, but they’ve been linked to multiple pieces in Cleveland as of late and could try to salvage assets from a broken team.
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The impending decisions that Buford and Pop make should indicate where their focus lays going into the postseason.
UPDATE at 1:55 PM CST on Sunday, February 3, 2019 : Hood has been dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers, per Adrian Wojnarowski.