After spending much of the summer as a restricted free agent, Rodney Hood finally chose to accept the $3.4 million qualifying offer to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.
The 25-year-old was hoping to receive a long-term contract worth up to $12 million a year but the Cavs were not prepared to meet his demands.
He'll now become an unrestricted free agent next summer and have an opportunity to sign with any team.
But Hood is determined to prove himself in Cleveland as that's the place where he wants to remain for the foreseeable future.
His heart is in Cleveland
In a recent interview with Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he explained how he's hoping to do enough to earn a better contract with the Cavaliers in 2019.
“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 said.
“My twins were born here. 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.”
The Utah Jazz traded the shooting guard to the Ohio-based franchise at February's deadline but things didn't quite work out for him last year.
He was one of the leading scorers for the Jazz before they offloaded him as he was posting 16.8 points per game.
However, his form deteriorated drastically with the Cavs and it resulted in head coach Tyronn Lue losing trust in him and leaving him on the bench for the majority of the playoffs.
Loss of confidence
Hood's confidence was shot and he put up just 5.4 points in the postseason and shot a miserable 16 percent from three-point range.
This lack of production hurt him over the summer as no team came in with an offer.
But with LeBron James heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, there will be less pressure in Cleveland which should allow Hood a better opportunity to flourish.
Joining a team who was expected to compete for a championship, and living up to the standards that LeBron expects, midway through the regular season was a tough situation for the swingman to deal with.
He certainly hasn't become a bad player overnight and from what we've seen in his four years in the league, he's a gifted offensive player who can score in many ways.
This will be the biggest year of Hood's career and if he can regain his confidence and put up big numbers, he should see an improved deal coming his way next summer.
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