Report: Blazers Given $2.86M Injury Exception with Rodney Hood Out for Season

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 03:  Rodney Hood #5 of the Portland Trail Blazers moves the ball down the court during the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 03, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly been awarded a $2.86 million injury exception, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The exception stems from wing Rodney Hood suffering a torn Achilles, which will keep him out for the remainder of the season.

Teams can be granted an injury exception worth half of an injured player's salary if they are determined likely to be out for the rest of the campaign. As a result, the Blazers have an extra $2.86 million to put toward a free-agent signing or trade this season.

After reaching the Western Conference Finals last season, the Blazers have struggled thus far in 2019-20. They are currently 10th in the West with an 11-16 record, and they trail the Oklahoma City Thunder by 1.5 games for the final playoff spot in the conference.

Despite that, there is still some reason for optimism as the season progresses. In addition to the star guard duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum continuing to produce, Portland has received quality output from veteran Carmelo Anthony in the 13 games since it signed him.

Also, center Jusuf Nurkic is expected to return at some point this season after leg fracture cut his 2018-19 season short. Even with the injury, Nurkic developed into a star last season with averages of 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.

A core of Lillard, McCollum, Anthony and Nurkic could make Portland a very dangerous team down the stretch, plus the Blazers will have some extra money to add another piece.

The Blazers already dipped into the free-agent pool by signing Melo, but they could try their luck again by adding a veteran like Jamal Crawford or J.R. Smith to provide an offensive spark off the bench.

If not, Portland can put that money toward a trade in hopes of reaching the playoffs and making another deep run.

Hood is a significant loss for Portland since he was averaging 11.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting a ridiculous 49.3 percent from beyond the arc in 21 games.

If the Blazers can use the money gained from the trade exception to add another three-point marksman and take some pressure off Lillard and McCollum, it would go a long way toward helping Portland get back in playoff contention.