Kings Blog

The Kings still want a small forward. Here's why pursuing Rodney Hood makes sense

Utah Jazz forward Rodney Hood, left, tries to drive past Kings guard Buddy Hield on Jan. 17 at Golden 1 Center. The Kings could make an offer to Hood, who finished this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Utah Jazz forward Rodney Hood, left, tries to drive past Kings guard Buddy Hield on Jan. 17 at Golden 1 Center. The Kings could make an offer to Hood, who finished this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. hamezcua@sacbee.com

The Kings struck out in their first attempt to land a restricted free agent.

Sacramento on Friday offered a four-year, $78 million offer sheet to guard Zach LaVine, but the Chicago Bulls quickly announced they would match the deal, then officially did so on Sunday.

One restricted free agent who might make sense for the Kings is Rodney Hood, who finished last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

League sources said the Kings have shown interest in Hood, but the talks have not progressed to the point where an offer sheet is imminent.

The 6-foot-8 forward would fill the need for a scoring and playmaking threat at small forward. The Kings passed on drafting a small forward when they drafted Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick in last month's NBA draft over EuroLeague star Luka Doncic of Slovenia.

The Kings tried to sign free agent Mario Hezonja to play small forward, but he took less money and a one-year deal with the New York Knicks.

The Kings have second-year small forward Justin Jackson and a collection of guards they can use at small forward if they do not sign or trade for a player at the position.

Hood averaged 16.8 points in 39 games for the Utah Jazz before being traded to Cleveland in February. He averaged 10.8 points in a diminished role with the Cavaliers and fell out of the rotation during the playoffs before seeing action in the NBA Finals.

Hood, 25, fits the profile of a player the Kings would seem to want and need. He's young and could grow with the Kings' young roster. With the right offer, the Cavs might be inclined not to match, given they are already over the salary cap.

The Kings are about $19.5 million under the salary cap and in position to make Hood a significant offer. And the market for young small forwards is drying up, with the Memphis Grizzlies landing Kyle Anderson from the San Antonio Spurs with a four-year offer sheet.

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