Rodney Hood is one of the best free agents still on the market, a 6’8″ wing who can get buckets is the kind of player a lot of teams could use.
However, he’s a restricted free agent — meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer — and at this point, most teams have their roster basically settled and are handing out their two-way and camp invite contracts. No offers are coming in for Hood, not of any real substance that he would sign.
His options are to play for the $3.4 million qualifying offer next season, show what he can do in Cleveland, then hit the crowded market in 2019 as an unrestricted free agent, or work out a deal with the Cavaliers. Cleveland would like to do the latter, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
I’m told they are interested in signing the restricted free agent to a 3-year contract. My guess is it will be relatively modest, especially compared to what he hoped to receive when he came to the Cavs in February in a trade with Utah.
It’s possible Hood can sign the qualifying offer for one season, then gamble on having a good year in 2018-19. He is a player who could benefit from James leaving — as more shots are available. Then he can take a good year into unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019.
As Pluto notes, what the Cavaliers will want is to lock Hood up on a below-market deal. Hood does not have a lot of leverage here, he fell hard and fast last season from the guy expected to be the leading scorer in Utah to a player who could barely get off the bench in Cleveland (and in one case would not get off the bench). His frustrations last season in Utah then playing with LeBron James speaks to his need to have a strong season to rehab his image with front offices.
Most likely he will play for the qualifying offer, bet on himself, then enter the 2019 market a free agent. That is unless the Cavaliers come in with an offer high enough to interest Hood.