The Cleveland Cavaliers will extend a $3.4 million qualifying offer to Rodney Hood, ensuring that they control his rights through restricted free agency.
While the offer hasn’t officially been extended yet, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com has reported that the team is set to extend it by the Friday deadline. By doing so, the Cavs have the ability to match any offer Hood receives as a free agent.
The move shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the team isn’t in a position where it can afford to let young talent walk for nothing, with or without LeBron James.
The team is actually in a fairly advantageous position with Hood, as he was having a career year before his playoff struggles likely tanked his value on the open market. Few teams have the space available to make a significant offer at Hood and the best deal for both sides may be to work out a short-term bridge contract.
From a pure talent standpoint, Hood is probably the guard with the highest upside and talent outside of Collin Sexton on the roster. It’s possible that the pressure of being in a contract year, plus the instability of last season heavily weighed on his game falling apart.
As long as some team doesn’t make a ridiculous offer, the benefits of matching and trying again with Hood simply outweigh any potential benefit from letting him walk. With a training camp and a defined role, Hood can hopefully regain the form he showed for most of last season.