Eye on the draft: Could Rodney Hood be the pick for the Celtics at #17?
As part of out draft coverage, we're breaking down a prospect a day from now until the draft. Today we're talking about Duke SF/SG Rodney Hood, a potential fit for the Celtics with the 17th pick in the draft.
Strengths: Shooting, shooting and more shooting. Hood is one of the best shooters in the draft, having knocked down 42% of his threes last season with Duke. He has a quick, high release and that mixed with his 6'8" frame means he can shoot it over everyone. He can also get to the hoop and is pretty crafty in the paint. While he's tall for the shooting guard position, he may see time at both the 2 and 3 at the next level due to his shooting touch and lack of elite length.
Weaknesses: He's an average athlete and not very good defensively, which could give him some issues trying to play SF in the NBA. With freaks like LeBron, Paul George and Kevin Durant at the 3, a 6'8" dude with limited athleticism and a poor wingspan is not going to have much success on that end of the floor. If you move him to the 2, his size becomes an advantage, and he does have some of the quickness necessary to guard shooting guards. Still, he doesn't figure to me anything more than an average defender at best. He's also not much of a rebounder or distributor at this stage of his career, and his 200 pound frame certainly doesn't help with the former.
Fit with the Celtics: Hood may be off the board by the time the 17th pick comes around, but if not, he'd be a nice value pick. Personally I like K.J. McDaniels and T.J. Warren a little better, but Hood is an elite shooter and those guys don't exactly grow on trees. I do think his skill-set makes him a better fit at SG, and if he could make that transition defensively he will have more success at the NBA level.
If you can't tell, I'm lukewarm on Hood. He's an average athlete who can shoot the lights out but can't rebound or defend, isn't all that young, and may be too lanky to play the two (again, I think this is key that he learns to play SG). That said, he may be the best player on the board at #17 -- and if so, look for Danny Ainge to nab the value and see if Brad Stevens can help Hood become a better defender.