Rodney Hood & Kemba Walker available - Celtics options?
With the NBA trade deadline 19 days away, things are heating up. Utah Jazz swingman Rodney Hood may be available for the right price. Listed at 6'8" and 208 pounds, Hood will earn $2,386,864 this season and be a restricted free agent this summer.
Utah had pinned their future hopes on Gordon Hayward, and when he opted out and headed to Boston, that changed virtually everything for the Jazz. The emergence of rookie Donovan Mitchell has made Hood somewhat expendable, and the Jazz are trolling for bites on Rodney.
There is a growing belief in league personnel circles that Utah could move swingman Rodney Hood before the Feb. 8 trade deadline ... with multiple teams expressing interest
Hood's shooting prowess could prove useful to the Celtics for the rest of the season and the playoffs. The team is struggling a bit right now, and offense has been a problem all year. This season Hood has averaged 16.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 2.0 APG. He can shoot the three and defend guards and small forwards. He fits Boston's DPE, but only Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens can answer the question as to whether or not he is a good fit with the Celtics.
While on the subject of a possible Utah Jazz bargain-basement sale, the only type of transaction that Danny seriously considers, the name of center/forward Derrick Favors may surface. Favors is a 26-year-old talented big man (6'10", 265 pounds) making $11.7M this season and heading to UFA this summer. There will be interest from other teams for the services of both Rodney and Derrick, and the Celtics may take at least a cursory look at both.
The Charlotte Hornet's Kemba Walker is another player possibly on the trading block. He makes $12M this season and next and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018-19 season. At 6'1", he is an extremely-talented, 27-year-old point guard, averaging 21.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 5.8 APG. Kemba is a player that, because of size (or lack thereof) and position, would probably not be seriously considered as an addition to the Celtics.
So I think now we see why Danny Ainge is holding on to all of his assets like a mama bear protecting her cubs. There are 19 days to go, and Danny-the-asset-hoarder may release some of them. But no bargain - no deal. That's the way he works. Historically, the trade action keeps getting hotter as the deadline gets closer. Ainge is waiting for the bargain-basement doors to open.
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Hood photo via Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Walker photo via Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports