The Milwaukee Bucks had to replace two pivotal players from their 2020-21 NBA Finals run.
P.J. Tucker signed with the rivaling Miami Heat and Bryn Forbes returned to the San Antonio Spurs, leaving some minutes left to allot for Coach Mike Budenholzer. Enter Rodney Hood, the athletic wing coming to Milwaukee on a one-year deal.
Hood will be suiting up for his fifth team in his NBA career, but it’s possible that this could be his best balance of contributing to a championship-caliber team. Coming off the bench, adding Hood to the second unit can be seen as an incredible addition if all goes according to plan.
Milwaukee Bucks: Why Rodney Hood can be a steal in 2021 Free Agency
Hailing from Meridian, MS, Hood actually began his career at Mississippi State, where he was a part of the SEC All-Freshman team in 2011-12. After his first year with the Bulldogs, Hood transferred to Duke, where he shared a spot on a roster with Semi Ojeleye, his new teammate in Milwaukee.
His lone year at Duke propelled him to be drafted in the first round by Utah, where he spent four seasons. In a seven-year stretch, Hood averaged more than 10 points a game. His career-high in points per game came back in 2017-18 with Utah, averaging an eye-catching 16.8 on average.
Since that season, it hasn’t been what Hood may have wanted. He had shorter stints with Cleveland, Portland, and Toronto, but now, he has a chance to revitalize his career with Milwaukee.
For those that know Rodney Hood, it’s evident that he has one of the nicest left-handed jump shots in the NBA. He’s a career 37 percent 3-point shooter, so adding that to any offense is an upgrade. When thinking about how defenses converge when Giannis Antetokounmpo drives and opens up the perimeter, Hood must be licking his chops.
Take Bryn Forbes, for instance. The success he had while roaming the wings beyond 3-point range was valuable for the Bucks playoff success. Enter Hood, who has just as much experience and value. On a less-expensive contract, this low-risk, high-reward move for Milwaukee makes more than enough sense moving forward.
Main Highlight from 2020-21
Hood spent last season playing with Portland and Toronto. Early in the season, he had a game on Jan. 18, 2021, against San Antonio, in which he scored 21 points on 9-16 shooting.
The most impressive sequence during the highlight is in the beginning. Hood utilizes the pick-and-roll with Enes Kanter, followed by the cross-court pass from Damian Lillard, taking a dribble to his left and pulling up for three. The forward has a knack for scoring the basketball in crafty ways, and that should make him a key contributor in Milwaukee’s second unit.
The biggest concern with Hood is his health. He has been banged up over the past several seasons, having suffered an Achilles injury in 2019, as well as a fractured hand and hip injury last season. Hood is dealing with some foot soreness that sidelined him for Milwaukee’s preseason opener against the Memphis Grizzlies. He has already been ruled out for tonight’s matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, so that will be something to keep an eye on moving forward.
If Milwaukee gets spurts like that one above during the season, it will make one of the Eastern Conference’s most dangerous teams that much better. A bargain deal can pay off big down the stretch for the NBA Finals champions.