For now and the immediate future, fans will be asking the question and engaging in healthy debate.

Who got the better of the trade that sent Rodney Hood to the Cleveland Cavaliers and brought Jae Crowder to the Utah Jazz?

If one game is an example, it could be a win, for both teams.

Crowder came off Utah’s bench on Sunday night and scored 15 points as the Jazz dispatched the Portland Trail Blazers 115-96 for their ninth consecutive win. Hood was just as impressive, scoring 15 points in 19 minutes during his Cavs debut, as Cleveland soundly defeated the Boston Celtics.

In a season where Cavaliers star LeBron James has yearned for secondary scoring, Hood seems to be just what he needs. He made 3-pointers. He got to the basket and scored off the dribble. He was efficient in catch-and-shoot and shooting on the move.

Hood, who was traded in the hours before Thursday’s deadline, told the Sporting News that he’s heard the whispers that he’s soft, and that would give him reason to play the remainder of the season with a chip on his shoulder.

“It just makes you want to prove yourself even more,” Hood said. “I do feel like I have a lot of prove here as part of this team.”

Hood came off the bench during his debut. But he will probably find his way into the starting lineup before long, especially with Kevin Love out, due to injury.

Pop sounds off

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hasn’t been shy when it comes to voicing his opinion on social issues for the last few seasons. And he used an innocuous question about Black History Month to get back on the platform again on Monday night.

League-wide, NBA players and coaches are wearing “Equality” themed warmup shirts honoring Black History Month. Asked about the importance of the league celebrating it, he called it “obvious” since the NBA is a predominantly black league. But he didn’t stop there.

“But more importantly, we live in a racist country that hasn’t figured it out yet, and it’s always important to bring attention to it, even if it angers some people,” he said. “The point is that you have to keep it in front of everybody’s nose so that they understand that it still hasn’t been taken care of, and we have a lot of work to do.”


Donovan Mitchell received his award for Western Conference Rookie of January before tipoff. It’s the second month in a row Mitchell has been honored as the top rookie in the West. … Royce O’Neale made his second career start on Monday night in place of Ricky Rubio, who missed a second start with hip soreness.