Rodney Hood has accepted the Cleveland Cavaliers’ one-year, $3.4 million qualifying offer, according to a report from Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.
Hood will become an unrestricted free agent in 2019. The Cavs can still pay Hood more than any other team next summer because they have his full “Bird” rights under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.
Hood was seeking a three-year, $27 million deal from the Cavs, but the organization never offered him that. Cleveland was willing to pay Hood $7 million annually.
Hood was acquired by the Cavs at the 2018 February trade deadline from the Utah Jazz. He averaged 10.8 points in 21 games with Cleveland during the regular season, shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three.
The playoffs, however, were a different story.
Hood fell out of coach Tyronn Lue’s rotation and registered five DNP’s. The 25-year-old finally got a chance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors and showed what he’s capable of, scoring 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Hood is now betting on himself to have a bounce back year in 2018-19 so he can earn a lucrative contract next summer. Former Cavs general manager David Griffin believes Hood will be more productive now that there are reduced expectations in Cleveland due to the departure of LeBron James.
“Cavs fans are going to see the best of Rodney Hood,” Griffin said. “Because he’s capable of being what they need him to be within that framework of expectation. I think the thing about Rodney with this Cavs team is that emotionally, the expectations are going to be more in line with what his maturity as a player will allow him to do.
“He’s uber-talented. But when it’s put-up or shut up and the only thing that’s going to mark success is winning a championship, he doesn’t have that level of confidence yet. But I think this Cavs team is going to let him find that, in much the same way that he was so good with Utah. Members of his coaching staff told members of our coaching staff the year before I left (2017), he was more important to them than Gordon Hayward.”