This year’s draft class is one of the best in recent memory not only due to the superior talent at the top, but the amount of quality depth. There is no doubt that there will be multiple players drafted outside the top 14 selections in this year’s NBA Draft who will have an impact in the league next season.
When scouts look at Duke’s Rodney Hood, they see an offensive force. Hood, who spent one season at Mississippi State before transferring to Duke, has great size for his position (6’9”), and yet is a smooth shooter and penetrator on the offensive side of the ball. To go along with his shooting prowess, he is a left handed player, an underrated advantage for a shooter. He can score from basically anywhere on the court and usually is content to take what the defense gives him.
As good as his offensive skill set is, the knocks against Hood are on the opposite of the ball. Hood will need to add size and strength to compete at the next level as he only weighed in at 208 lbs at the combine. His man-to-man defensive skills are far from acceptable and he is not a strong rebounder. But if selected by a team that runs the floor and doesn’t put a ton of emphasis on defense, Hood could see a lot of minutes, as he can spread the floor and knock down transition three pointers.
With the Chicago Bulls looking for scoring and depth with their two first round picks, Hood would be able to fill that need. The Bulls attempted the third fewest three pointers last season in the league, mostly because the team did not have any reliable scoring threats from the outside other than 11-year veteran Mike Dunleavy. The combination of Hood and Jimmer Fredette off the bench could help spread the floor for the Bulls next season, a concept the team struggled to achieve last season. In regards to his defense, there are not many coaches I would trust with the task of teaching defense at the NBA level, but Tom Thibodeau is one of those coaches. What he was able to get out of Dunleavy, Kyle Korver, Marco Belinelli, and others on the defensive end has been astonishing in his four seasons in Chicago, and Hood could be the next pure shooter that Thibs turns into a competent defensive player.
Hood most closely resembles San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green. Especially looking at Green during the 2012-2013 season, he was mostly just a shooter that was long enough to play competent defense under the tutelage of one of the greatest coaches of all time, Coach Popovich. Even since last season, Green has improved. I foresee a similar progression for Hood if drafted by the right franchise.
During his sophomore season with the Blue Devils, Hood averaged 16.1 points per game, shooting 42% from behind the arc. Hood only failed to reach double digits in scoring in five contests last season. Unfortunately, one of those five was during the team’s second round matchup that saw Mercer oust Duke out of the NCAA Tournament.