Cavaliers’ Forward Rodney Hood Focused On Free-Agency, But Wants To Play Now

Gregory Shamus

Rodney Hood has gone from playing meaningful minutes with the Utah Jazz to sitting on the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite the latter resulting in Hood’s first trip to the NBA Finals, it is something he is not too comfortable with.

Before he was part of a three-team trade, as reported by Sports Illustrated, that sent him to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rodney Hood was playing heavy for the Jazz. Hood had career-high averages in points and three-point shots. He was rounding into a solid “3-and-D” player, capable of becoming the third-option on a contending NBA team.

Things slowly changed once Rodney Hood joined the Cavaliers. A couple of nagging injuries led to some inactivity. Eventually, Hood was barely appearing in games.

The timing of Rodney Hood’s limited minutes could not have been worse. Faced with free agency in the next few weeks, Rodney Hood has some interesting decisions to make.

Rodney Hood will be a restricted free agent on July 1. In all likelihood, it does not appear that the Cleveland Cavaliers are convinced enough to bring him back. There are no guarantees for Rodney Hood at this point. Unfortunately, his NBA future rests in the hands of LeBron James.

What LeBron James decides to do in free agency will determine what the Cavaliers do. James can opt to leave the Cavaliers for a better chance at winning an NBA championship, or determine that it is in his best interests to stay. LeBron James leaving opens the door for Rodney Hood to return. It is the opposite if LeBron James stays.

Instead of worrying about the distant future, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ guard is trying to focus on the next game. He wants to play and help the Cavaliers win. Playing in a game has become infrequent for Rodney Hood after always playing for a Utah Jazz team that made the playoffs.

There has been a lot of adjustments that Rodney Hood has had to make while with the Cavaliers. One of those adjustments is being glued to the bench. According to The Undefeated, Rodney Hood is miffed about his lack of playing time.

“I was playing at such a high clip when I got traded. And then, this is my first time having DNPs in life. The first time shooting two times or five times in a game. Having to adjust is the toughest part. It’s a part of my growth. I’m not going to always be in this state.”

There is something for Rodney Hood to gain from sitting on the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers, however, actually playing offers a true learning experience. Hood continues to stay confident, while hopeful that he is in a temporary situation.

“It’s something I can look back on and think, ‘I’ve been through something worse than this. I’ve been through a tough time before.’ It can help me in future endeavors.”

Rodney Hood’s future is most likely not with the Cleveland Cavaliers. With a team that could use all of the scoring they can get, however, his immediate future should be on the floor versus the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are one of many teams Rodney Hood has had success against in the past couple of seasons.

In Rodney Hood’s eyes, he would be more helpful playing, rather than sitting.