The Chicago Bulls are expected to trade star forward Nikola Mirotic soon and perhaps to the Utah Jazz. One of the players that the Bulls may inquire about on the Jazz is small forward Rodney Hood. The four-year small forward’s name has been churning out in NBA trade rumors.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah Jazz are looking to move Rodney Hood prior to the NBA trade deadline. It is not certain what the Utah Jazz are seeking in return for Hood, however, the Chicago Bulls have Nikola Mirotic.
The Jazz have an interest in Nikola Mirotic, according to NBC Sports Chicago and could be comfortable in a swap of forwards.
As for the fit of Rodney Hood on the Bulls, it can be determined by one factor — how fast are the Bulls looking to rebuild.
Originally, the Chicago Bulls’ front office foresaw a lengthy rebuilding project. Having one of the worst teams in the NBA in order to have a shot at one of the top collegiate or international players in the draft was steps one and two of their plan.
If the player the Bulls take in the draft becomes a star they would be one step closer to competing in the Eastern Conference. The timing of the Bulls looking to do so correlates with other teams looking to do the same thing.
A few things may have expedited the Bulls rebuilding process already. Whether the Bulls add a player of consequence or not, it is not preventing the Eastern Conference from falling to them.
The top teams in the conference all have questions. That includes the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been on a long slide as of late. Now it is possible that LeBron James may look to play elsewhere next season. If James chooses to leave the Cavaliers, the Eastern Conference likely becomes weaker. NBA teams are aware of this and they are preparing accordingly.
Because the Eastern Conference is getting weaker, it may help convince the Bulls that now is a good time to add another piece to their puzzle.
NBC Sports Chicago’s Kevin Anderson cites that acquiring Rodney Hood in a trade from the Jazz could hurt the Bulls in terms of tanking. Hood could be the difference in the Bulls making the playoffs as an seventh or eighth seed, thus costing them a shot at a top six draft pick.
Rodney Hood is a player whom the Chicago Bulls may covet during the offseason, especially if they fall out of the early part of the NBA draft lottery. Hood at small forward gives the Bulls a solid contributor, who can score.
The Bulls’ biggest hole is at small forward. Denzel Valentine plays the position for the Bulls, but he is better suited at shooting guard. Can Rodney Hood fill that void for the next few years?
That is the question that the Chicago Bulls must consider during their trade negotiations with the Utah Jazz. Another question is would having Rodney Hood in the fold be the equivalent of having a top six draft pick?
The answer is likely a push.
Having Rodney Hood makes the Chicago Bulls a fringe playoff contender. That is not where the Bulls wanted to be at this point of the season. The Bulls have played competitively with every team they have faced since December.
After starting the season with a 3-20 record, the Chicago Bulls have gone 15-8. Trading for Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz would be a step in the direction that the Bulls were already headed in.
As the Bulls and Jazz continue their NBA trade discussions regarding Nikola Mirotic, there is a growing sentiment that Rodney Hood’s name is involved. In order for salaries to match up the Bulls would likely have to take on the salary of the Jazz’s Joe Johnson.
The Chicago Bulls also have to insist that the Utah Jazz include a draft pick. To make a fair trade, the Bulls could include the salary of Jerian Grant, Cameron Payne or a second round pick for a later time.
It is less than three weeks before the NBA trade deadline. The Chicago Bulls are expected to do everything they can to trade Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic to the Utah Jazz may be a given. That trade could send Rodney Hood to the Bulls.