Rodney Hood is officially a Blazer this morning, but it feels like another move is coming.
That Neil Olshey was able to add a capable wing for two non-rotation players makes this deal practically a no-brainer, even if it’s not a big name flying into PDX. Portland needed scoring help on the wing, depth on the wing...basically everything (except defense, maybe) on the wing. As a rental, Hood is capable of winning you a couple more games down the stretch.
Our own Dave Deckard shared his thoughts on the trade, and, as usual, they’re right on the money:
Hood can play alongside Evan Turner in the second unit, might fill small forward minutes, and could even provide a not-completely-awful replacement for CJ McCollum should the Blazers end up trading the latter for serious talent. In the short run, Hood’s height, versatility, and shooting ability will make up for the lack of defense
I would expect Hood to fill a decent amount of small forward minutes. It sounds like Terry Stotts agrees. But I’m not sure there are enough minutes available for everyone at this juncture. Maurice Harkless has disappointed, sure, but he is getting nearly 22 minutes of action a night. Jake Layman is only averaging 17 minutes a night, but over his last 10 games he’s getting 24 per game - and averaging more than 12 points a night on 54 percent shooting.
Unless the Blazers anticipate getting higher production than that from Hood, it doesn’t make sense to drastically cut Layman’s minutes. Whether he’s starting, finishing, coming off the bench - that doesn’t matter so much. But he’s been an undeniable spark plug for the Blazers of late.
I suppose Harkless’ knee could still be bothering him more than he’s let on and he’s about to be shut down, but all indications are that, after a different issue earlier this month caused him to miss time, he’s feeling okay. It seems to me that the Blazers have to be looking at another deal before February 7 trade deadline.
That doesn’t mean that a deal will necessarily happen. There are hundreds of variables that can cause a trade to fall apart while it’s being discussed. But here you have the newly acquired Hood, averaging 27 minutes per game, both this season and for his career, joining the team without having sent out any meaningful minutes in Wade Baldwin and Nik Stauskas.
I doubt that McCollum is actually available, but Dave’s point above stands; Hood is a decent low-cost replacement should CJ be moved for an upgrade at another position. With Layman producing at such a low financial cost, it makes sense to me that Harkless is being shopped. Of course, Harkless probably doesn’t have a lot of teams lining up for the privilege of paying him $11.5 million next season, but if Olshey is willing to add a first round pick (rumored to be available) and another player, a deal could be out there.
After a long layoff, the Blazers are back in action Tuesday night against the Miami Heat. The trade deadline is Thursday. That’s not a lot of time to evaluate the newest roster addition and mull everything over. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there are already potential moves being discussed.
What deal would you like to see? Let us know in the comments!