Height/Weight/Age: 6'8", 208 lbs
Age: 21 years old
Projected NBA Position: Small Forward
Pro Comparison: Rashard Lewis
Rodney Hood had a breakout year at Duke after sitting out the 2012-13 season following his transfer from Mississippi State.
Having played a major role in Duke's offense as a sophomore, he finished the season as the team's second-leading scorer behind Jabari Parker. And he was a routine mismatch in the ACC.
Now 21 years old (he'll be 22 in October), Hood will be entering his rookie year with an NBA-ready skill set and one that should carry him to and through a long, productive career.
|Statistics at Duke|
At 6'8.5" in shoes, Hood has excellent size for an NBA small forward, though his arms are fairly short (6'8.5" wingspan). He's a good athlete for a guy his size, but when stacked up with other NBA wings, his explosiveness and quickness are pretty underwhelming.
He struggles getting to the rack and keeping up defensively on the perimeter.
But Hood does play with tremendous balance. He has sharp footwork with the ability to play off one foot or two.
And at 208 pounds, he's not the strongest, though that shouldn't stop Hood from tapping into his strengths as a mid-range scorer and shooter.
Hood has a beautiful lefty stroke, which is tough to contest when you consider his size and release point. He possesses deep NBA range and dead-eye accuracy—he nailed two three-pointers a game at a scorching 42 percent clip.
Off the ball, Hood projects as a stretch forward who can hang out on the wing or in the corner for spot-up opportunities.
Off the dribble, Hood is terrific with his pull-up jumper, having drilled 37 of his 85 attempts he took this season (43 percent), per DraftExpress. He's one of those shooters you just assume will connect if he has the room to release.
Though it's his shooting stroke that fuels the threat he poses to defenses, that's not the only weapon he has in the arsenal.
Hood can score in a few different ways inside the arc. Facing up, he has a good handle and command of the ball. He's a threat to put it on the deck and attack in line drives off the bounce.
Hood can swoop to the rack and knock down runners and floaters on the move. He also has the scoring instincts to score with his back to the rim when he has room to spin, turn and shoot, whether it's with one hand or two.
Though not the greatest one-on-one scorer, Hood has the shot-making range to score from different angles and spots in the half court.
The big concern with Hood revolves around his defense. He doesn't play low enough to the ground, and he's vulnerable to getting beat on the perimeter.
He also shows minimal defensive playmaking ability—he averaged 0.7 steals per game, an awfully low number for a small forward.
Inside, Hood doesn't have the strength to really bang down low or hold his ground. And he doesn't rebound at all. Hood averaged a poor 3.9 boards in 32.9 minutes a game.
Offensively, he's more of a finesse player who prefers jumpers over scoring opportunities in the paint. He took just 3.9 free-throw attempts per game this season.
There's no reason why Hood shouldn't be able to step in from day one, stretch the floor and knock down shots that find him in the offense. However, defense is probably going to take a major adjustment early on, as he'll be going up against much quicker and more athletic wings as apposed to the slower 4s he faced at Duke. Still, in a complementary offensive role, Hood should be able to offer an immediate shot-making presence right off the bat.
Hood's three-point stroke, offensive instincts and size for the position should carry him a long way in the pros. His one-way ceiling and preference for the perimeter likely limits his NBA upside, but in a supporting role that plays to his strengths as an opportunistic scorer, Hood could thrive long term as an offensive specialist and floor-spacer.