Portland Trail Blazers

Can Rodney Hood help the Trail Blazers?

Rodney Hood is not a big-name addition, but can he help the Portland Trail Blazers?

Amid all the bigger trade rumors and speculation, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired Rodney Hood from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin and two future second-round picks on Sunday.

Hood started all 45 games he played for the Cavaliers this year, averaging 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while making over 36 percent from beyond the arc. But his expiring contract made him an easy trade chip for a team that isn’t trying to pile up wins.

Through their first 52 games this season, Portland has started Moe Harkless (25 starts), Jake Layman (25 starts) and Evan Turner (two starts) at small forward. Harkless has started every game he has played since just after Thanksgiving, but he’s only averaging 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Among that trio, Layman is offering the most as a 3-point shooter (35.9 percent). It’s not a surprise the Trail Blazers were in the market for wing players heading toward the trade deadline.

After Damian Lillard (26.4 points per game) and CJ McCollum (21 points per game), only Jusuf Nurkic (15.2 points per game) is a double-figure scorer for Portland so far this season. Beyond those three, no one else is putting up double-digit shot attempts per game.

The Trail Blazers’ offense will continue to be centered on Lillard and McCollum, but there’s room for Hood to contribute. He’s having a down year overall, but he’s a versatile wing who can defend multiple positions and can create his own offense along with being a threat from the perimeter. As a secondary option to Portland’s star backcourt duo, he’s just fine.

It’s simple math, with two players going out and one coming in, but ESPN’s Bobby Marks cited the trade also created a roster spot for Portland.

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Exactly how Hood will fit into Terry Stotts’ rotation is unclear, with the first indication to come Tuesday night against the Miami Heat. But the obvious move is for him to step into some of Harkless’ minutes, as the current No. 4 seed in the West tweaks the periphery of their roster.

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