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Rodney Hood’s plan: ‘After this year I’ll be able to make Cleveland my home’

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Rodney Hood could not get a contract offer this summer. It was a stunning fall, because one year ago he expected to be the go-to scorer of the Utah Jazz and by the end of the season he barely got off the bench in Cleveland (and in one case would not get off the bench). No team would make an offer to the restricted free agent that they knew the Cavaliers wouldn’t match, so no team made an offer. Eventually, Hood signed his $3.4 million qualifying offer with Cleveland and will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019.

But he doesn’t want to go anywhere.

Hood said his goal was to help lead the Cavaliers and play so well they would offer him more and keep him, speaking to Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“I believe strongly in myself that after this year I’ll be able to make Cleveland my home and we’ll get a better deal next summer,” Hood told cleveland.com Monday in a wide-ranging interview…

“My twins were born here,” he said. “I like the community, even though I haven’t been out there a lot. I want to make this a home. It’s just didn’t happen this summer. That’s how I look at it.”

It’s certainly possible. Hood is a 6’8″ swingman who can create his own shot, is strong as a pick-and-roll ball handler, runs the floor, can hit the three, can iso, and just knows how to get buckets. If he’s comfortable in the system, he should put up numbers that will get him paid a little next summer.

Maybe that’s in Cleveland, although what the Cavaliers will look like a year from now and what direction the team ultimately goes remains uncertain. They brought Kevin Love and are talking playoffs, but a slow start and the sands could shift around this team. Either way, have a strong season and Hood will like his contract offer a lot more.

 

 

Cavaliers lose one star, lock up another, sure don’t break even

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NBCSports.com’s Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there.

It’s nice to feel wanted.

Particularly if you’re the Cavaliers, a small-market team that has been shunned by most stars. LeBron James was the shining exception, but even he left again.

LeBron’s second exit didn’t hit as hard. He already made good by leading Cleveland to the city’s first championship in several decades. Experiencing his departure once already also softened the blow, as Cavs fans and personnel seemed more primed and accepting this time. It’s difficult to summon that much outrage twice.

Still, in the aftermath of LeBron signing with the Lakers, the Cavaliers were in a certain state of mind when they found another star who wanted to stay. That’s when they signed Kevin Love to a four-year, $120,402,172 contract extension.

Admittedly, that’s hard to turn down. When a star picks a market like Cleveland, there’s a logic to the team just signing him then figuring out the rest later.

But it’s such a fleeting victory. If 30-year-old Love declines significantly during the next few seasons, as many players do at that age, fans will forget all about him embracing this team. That’s why the Cavs should have resisted indulging in that instant gratification.

Love’s extension could work. Out of LeBron’s shadow, maybe Love shows the all-around excellence he did with the Timberwolves. Maybe he leads the Cavaliers to the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, which would be quite the satisfying result the season after LeBron leaves. Maybe, even if Love is overpaid, Cleveland trades him for value like the Clippers did with Blake Griffin.

But it’s such a narrow path to success. After years of aging and injuries, I’m not convinced Love still possesses the athleticism necessary to play like did with in Minnesota. The supporting cast that was holding back LeBron doesn’t seem like a playoff outfit to me. And I don’t like the idea of holding out hope for a sucker/risk-taking team, especially with one potential Love suitor already having traded for Griffin.

Still – despite high enough disaster potential and low enough upside that I wouldn’t have given Love this extension – I get it. It could pay off long-term, and it definitely made the Cavaliers feel better right now.

They sure didn’t find a star small forward who wanted to join them, though. So, they took fliers on Sam Dekker and David Nwaba. The prices were cheap enough. The Clippers paid a portion of Dekker’s salary to trade him to Cleveland, and Nwaba signed for the minimum.

But Dekker and Nwaba are slight downgrades from the previous small forward.

No. 8 pick Collin Sexton might lead the Cavs into a new era. For now, he’s the big youthful exception on a team that’s relatively old for its limbo position.

The Cavaliers are probably at least a couple seasons from finding a direction, and this offseason didn’t help.

Rodney Hood accepting the qualifying offer is a step toward the Cavs squandering an asset. That’s not to say they should have paid him whatever it took to lock him up long term. He might not be worth what he demanded. But this is a negative outcome for Cleveland. Only one player – Spencer Hawes with the 76ers – has ever accepted his qualifying offer then re-signed with the same team the following year. And Hood can now veto any trade, making it more difficult to get value for him before his 2019 unrestricted free agency.

Even if Hood doesn’t want to stay, at least Love did. And in another feel-good story, Channing Frye returned on a minimum contract. The respected veteran seemingly could have had his pick of better teams, and he chose Cleveland.

But likely overpaying Love and attracting a nice guy can’t paper over the biggest development of the offseason.

LeBron is gone.

Offseason grade: F

Report: Cavaliers sign Rodney Hood to $3.4 million qualifying offer

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Rodney Hood was rumored to have wanted a contract from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the neighborhood of three years and $27 million. Instead, Hood will sign his $3.4 million qualifying offer with Cleveland and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019.

That’s according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who says that the Cavaliers guard will be looking to sign a new deal with whichever team he chooses come next July. Hood was a restricted free agent this summer but did not sign an offer sheet with any teams, leaving most of the negotiation between him and Cleveland.

Via Twitter:

Hood will be heading into his fifth year in the league this season, and has seen his growth stunt a bit. It was apparent that Hood was not vital for the Cavaliers at times in 2017-18, and often in the playoffs he failed to even see the floor.

In the wake of 2016 and NBA general managers being more discretionary with their salaries, Hood was in some ways set to be the bellwether for what direction organizations might take on players of his youth and caliber.

Situationally, it made more sense for Cleveland to keep Hood on a short-term deal. Likewise, while Hood may have wanted a longer contract it did not seem as though he came to earn it in any sense. He will have an opportunity with a clear path to more impact for the Cavaliers next season as he tries to entice a larger offer.

It’s official, Cavaliers sign David Nwaba to one-year, $1.5 million contract

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We’ve known this was coming for a while, and it’s a good fit, but on Saturday it finally became official.

David Nwaba is a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This is a one-year, $1.5 million contract. This gives Cleveland 13 players on guaranteed contracts, plus restricted free agent Rodney Hood (who will end up playing for the Cavaliers next season, the question is will it be for a new contract or for the qualifying offer of $3.4 million).

Nwaba is a quality pick up for the Cavaliers, he looks to have developed into a solid NBA role player. He’s a wing out of Cal Poly SLO of the Big West who showed promise for the Lakers a couple of seasons ago (spending time in the G-League as well) but got squeezed by the numbers, ended up in Chicago last season where he averaged 7.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game playing 23 minutes a night. Then he got squeezed by the numbers in Chicago as well and became a free agent.

He’s going to have to carve out minutes in Cleveland. J.R. Smith will start at the two, likely with Jordan Clarkson behind him (to play next to rookie point guard Colin Sexton), at the three it will be a mix of Cedi Osman, Kyle Korver, and Sam Dekkar. There are minutes to be had there, and Nwaba is plenty familiar with having to prove himself to get run. Nwaba will find a role.

PBT Extra: Mapping out the biggest moves of the NBA offseason

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The NBA summer has settled. While a few minor tweaks are still to come — where will Jamal Crawford land? How much will Rodney Hood re-sign for with the Cavaliers? — the big moves came early and often.

Time to put up the map and break down the 10 biggest moves of the summer, from DeAndre Jordan finally heading to Dallas to LeBron James taking his talents to Los Angeles, with eight other stops in between.