Rodney Hood has begun discussing the idea of extending his contract with the Utah Jazz, reports Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune:
The Utah Jazz and starting shooting guard Rodney Hood have opened contract extension negotiations, the Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
The two sides have had preliminary conversations as the Jazz hope Hood can become their primary perimeter scorer this season after Gordon Hayward left for the Boston Celtics. Another meeting is expected to occur in the next few weeks, according to league sources.
Dante Exum is also eligible for a rookie-scale contract extension with the Jazz. If one of the two, or neither, are able to reach an agreement, they’d hit restricted free agency next summer.
Hood has the tools to be an excellent NBA player; he has great size for a guard and has a beautiful stroke from outside. With Hayward gone, though, the Jazz need him to step into a leading role. The team is confident that Hood will take a step forward, per Jones:
According to sources, Hood has been in Salt Lake City for the majority of the summer and has chosen to spend his offseason working closely with the coaching staff. The Jazz feel Hood can make a significant leap in production this season.
At the same time, there are concerns. Hood’s durability is in question after he played only 59 games last season. He’s been a streaky shooter in the past, and the Jazz need him to be more consistent from the perimeter. Most importantly, the Jazz need more than scoring from Hood. They need him to be a playmaker as well.
The party holding out, if any, will be the organization:
Hood likes Salt Lake and the Jazz and is very open to signing an extension, sources say. He’ll test the market if needed, but he wants to be with the Jazz. For both sides, it’s all about coming to a palatable price. The Jazz extended franchise center Rudy Gobert last year, striking a deal right before the deadline.
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