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Hollinger Predicts That Hood & Hezonja Return to Blazers

The Athletic’s John Hollinger provided a look at this summer’s player and team options.

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Oklahoma City Thunder v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

From salary cap projections to a return to the court, the next few months hold an abundance of uncertainty for the NBA. Regardless of those unknowns, a pair of current Trail Blazers teammates appear destined to opt-in to their respective player options. According to The Athletic’s John Hollinger, both Rodney Hood and Mario Hezonja are likely to pick up their player options after this season concludes.

Hood, who was limited to just 21 outings this season due to a season-ending Achilles injury, averaged 11.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Hollinger detailed that Hood’s injury should push him towards picking up his $6,003,900 option for the 2020-21 season.

Hood was an unrestricted free agent with a healthy Achilles last summer and signed for the taxpayer MLE with Portland; given his current status it’s hard to see how he improves on that number. Meanwhile, the Blazers seem smitten with Hood and he has a high-minute role waiting for him when he returns, so it’s harder to imagine a better situation to potentially improve his market value heading into next summer.

For Hezonja, Hollinger explained that picking up next year’s player option might be the 25-year-old forward’s best chance to stick in the NBA.

In the midst of disappointing a third franchise, Hezonja has displayed brief flashes of talent that only serve to raise hopes before he crushes them with his limited awareness at both ends. If he wants to stay in the league, I’d recommend he pick up that option.

You can read Hollinger’s full set of predictions at The Athletic.