2014 NBA Draft: Utah Jazz Get Best Available Player in Rodney Hood

By Ryan Aston

After obtaining Aussie phenom Dante Exum with the fifth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz have used their selection at No. 23 to acquire Duke SF Rodney Hood.

Moments before the pick was made, there were reports that the Miami Heat were attempting to trade for the pick in an effort to draft Shabazz Napier, but ultimately Utah elected to keep the selection and draft Hood. By most accounts, Hood was the best player available among the pool of undrafted prospects at that point.

Hood was a team captain for Coach K at Duke and provided a steadying influence on the floor behind freshman superstar Jabari Parker. Throughout his college career, Hood was a player who could attack the basket out of the pick-and-roll, a skill that should mesh well with new Jazz head coach Quin Synder‘s offense. In his introductory press conference with the team, Snyder stated that the team would see a return to an offense that is heavy in screen-roll action.

Despite assertions that Hood’s selection could provide Utah with a replacement for restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, chances are that the Jazz match any offer sheet Hayward signs and the team is left with another quality young piece in the 6-foot-8 Hood.

In addition to his pick-and-roll play, his ability to shoot the ball as well as his defensive potential make him a great pick-up by GM Dennis Lindsey. Hood, combined with fellow draftee Exum, as well as Utah’s young core of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Trey Burke, Alec Burks and probably Hayward, makes the team a potentially exciting, young squad for the 2014-15 NBA season.

Ryan Aston covers the Utah Jazz for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @MrMaryKateOlsen or add him to your network on Google.

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