New Orleans • With the NBA’s trade deadline looming Thursday, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons are all showing interest in acquiring Utah Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
League sources say the Denver Nuggets and Orlando Magic have also shown at least a passing interest in Hood, who is set to be a restricted free agent this summer. Hood’s name has been mentioned in trade talks for a few weeks, and the Jazz have been active on the market in an attempt to fortify their roster for the remainder of the season.
The Jazz would like an asset for Hood, according to sources. A first round pick would be optimal. Last week, the Bulls garnered a first-rounder when they traded forward Nikola Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans. But the Bulls were forced to take on a bad contract — center Omer Asik — in return. It remains to be seen whether the Jazz would be willing to do that.
Sources say the Thunder were always going to be aggressive on this trade market because they want to improve the depth of their roster in an attempt to entice forward Paul George to sign with them long-term.
That need increased when Oklahoma City guard Andre Roberson was lost for the season with a knee injury. Without Roberson, the Thunder are starting rookie Terrance Ferguson at shooting guard. They will be hard-pressed to replace what Roberson gave them defensively, but Hood would offer them a shooter with size who can score.
Detroit and Chicago are in a similar place as Oklahoma City personnel-wise. Hood would fit with the Pistons or the Bulls, who both need another guy who can shoot the basketball. Though he has been in and out with injuries, Hood is statistically having the best season of his career. He is averaging 16.4 points per game, a career-high and shooting almost 39 percent from 3-point range.
At the same time, he has encountered some frustration with the Jazz this season. He is coming off the bench consistently for the first time since he was a rookie, and even then he started 21 games. And then there are the injuries, which have shelved him for 15 games this season.
Besides Hood, teams are also showing trade interest in Jazz shooting guard Alec Burks, league sources tell The Tribune. The problem is, teams are hesitant to take on his contract, which pays him through the end of next season.