Portland Trail Blazers: Rodney Hood declines player option, becomes unrestricted free agent

3-and-D guard Rodney Hood elected to decline his $6 million player option, thus becoming a free agent. What does this mean for the Portland Trail Blazers?

One day after connecting on a trade that will welcome former All-Defensive Team swingman Robert Covington into the fold, the Portland Trail Blazers could potentially be saying goodbye to one of the own.

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rodney Hood has elected to decline his $6 million player option, in turn making himself a free agent during this 2020-21 offseason.

When the upcoming regular season tips off, it will have been a little over a year since the last time Hood stepped onto the floor. Hood suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon on Dec. 6, 2019. Prior to, he was carving together one of his most productive seasons, averaging 11.0 points per game.

Perhaps more importantly, Hood proved to be an effective piece to pair with ball handlers Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. He ranked No. 1 in the NBA in catch-and-shoot accuracy from deep, and hit on 49.3 percent of his long-range attempts in total, with a +2.4 on-off swing to boot.

He also proved vital to the Blazers’ first Western Conference Finals appearance, with a game-winning three during the 4OT semifinal win over the Denver Nuggets.

Hood declining his player option doesn’t necessarily mean he has eyes elsewhere. More than likely, it means that Hood views himself as ready to contribute immediately to the 2020-21 season, with no minutes restriction. But, speaking best-case scenario for the Portland Trail Blazers, it would mean the start of the renegotiating of a new deal.

Similar to the Mario Hezonja move, it’s the intelligent business move to make. Hood, coming off of an injury that has proven to alter, if not end careers, likely wants an opportunity at financial security. It isn’t necessarily clear what Neil Olshey and the Blazers front office are planning to do at this very moment, but it remains something to think about.

In the meantime, it makes the Covington deal all the more calming. Portland will be entering the upcoming season with depth at the wing position, as well as being one of just three teams across the Association with the ability to full mid-level exception of $9.2 million.