Rodney Hood did not make it to the city in time for the Trail Blazers training on Monday morning, but he had already received a call from Portland's franchise foundation.
Damian Lillard picked up the latest Blazers Also on Sunday night, he told the 6-for-8 wing that he was looking forward to playing him for the stretch run.
"He said he was happy about his new opportunity," said Lillard. "And I said the same thing," I think you can help our team. If anything, you will enjoy being part of this team.
The Blazers officially acquired Hood Monday mornings, transportation guards Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin, and two future second-round picks (2021
Coach Terry Stotts said he did not know if Hood would make his debut on Tuesday night when the Blazers (32-20) align the Miami Heat in a nationally-broadcast game on TNT. But if Hood is free to play, he'll do just that – play.
"Obviously we have a player who can help us immediately," Stotts said. "Rodney is a guy with a high character. He has a good length on the wing, he can shoot as a midfielder and a threesome, has a good length as a defender. I think it helps our team.
"He'll look in and play right away."
It's unclear how Hood will fit into the blazer rotation – and Stotts refused to give details – but his addition will not give rise to any doubt spark change. Stotts said Hood could play a small guard, a small forward, and a forward power, depending on the setup, and this versatility offers Stotts a range of deployment options. But Stotts has already completed a 10-man rotation, which he has reluctantly done over the years, so that an expansion is hard to imagine.
This means a reduced role for someone who played a key role in a streak team that has won 10 of their last 13 games and finished in January with an 11-4 record.
At first glance, Jake Layman looks like the strange man. On average, however, it was 11.3 points and 3.9 rebounds, while in January he shot 54 percent out of the field. Coaches and teammates – including Lillard – have thanked Layman for their rise in the mid season. Does he really lose a point of rotation in the middle of a breakthrough time?
And if not, Layman, who? Seth Curry, who heads the NBA in three-point shooting (48.5 percent)? Meyers Leonard, who plays the best basketball of his career? Moe Harkless, who was rewarded by Lillard with the X-factor of the team, but also fought a renewed knee fight?
Someone else together?
"There will be a transitional period for all," Stotts said. "If you swap two players who were not in the rotation against a man who will be in rotation, there will be a trickling effect. There will be an adjustment. But I'm familiar enough with Rodney to know that he'll adapt well. It will be gradual. We will still rely on our captains and leave. "
Whatever he inherits, Hood – wearing # 5 jersey – brings length, athleticism and versatility to a line-up that needs depth wings. He scored an average of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 45 starts this season with Cleveland. He shot 42.7 percent from the field, of which 36.2 percent from the three-point area. Sixty percent of Hood's shots this season have jumped – 32 percent (62) from the middle class and 28 percent (54) from the three-point range – so he should intervene well in Stotts "Flow" system.
As How quickly he will adapt to his new system, Stotts said the blazers on Sunday sent Hood videos of their basic gear to accelerate his learning curve.
"Rodney Hood is a damn player," Lillard said. "And you try to do everything to improve your list. I think what he does on the ground could be good for our team. He is a big grand piano. He can score the ball. He can take pictures. He is a solid defender. I know that I played against him … I expect him to help our team.
An area he will certainly help: playoff experience. Neil Olshey, Blazers & # 39; President of Basketball Operations, said last summer he wanted to bring playoff experience to the squad. He finally lived up to that promise with the acquisition of Hood, who has played in 28 playoff games with Utah and Cleveland over the past two seasons.
"Rodney is an accomplished NBA player who brings versatility, shot and depth into our environment, seamlessly fitting into our culture and style," Olshey said in a publication.
Joe Freeman | jfreeman @ oregonian. com | 503-294-5183 | @ BlazerFreeman | Visit the email address "Subscription.oregonlive.com/newsletters" to view the Oregonian / OregonLive journalism in your email inbox obtained