David Griffin: 'Cavs fans are going to see the best of Hood' this season

Ashish Mathur

Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin believes Rodney Hood will have a bounce back year this upcoming season and surprise Cavs fans.

Hood is still a restricted free-agent. Contract discussions between the Cavs and Hood have stalled, as the Cavs have not offered Hood what he feels is an acceptable offer.

The Cavs maintained restricted free-agent rights on Hood by giving him a one-year, $3.5 million qualifying offer, so they can match any offer sheet should Hood sign one. Hood, however, hasn't received interest from any other team this summer.

Appearing on Cleveland.com's Wine and Gold Talk Podcast, Griffin said Hood will be more productive now that there are reduced expectations in Cleveland due to the departure of LeBron James.

"Cavs fans are going to see the best of Rodney Hood," Griffin said. "Because he’s capable of being what they need him to be within that framework of expectation. I think the thing about Rodney with this Cavs team is that emotionally, the expectations are going to be more in line with what his maturity as a player will allow him to do."

Hood was acquired by the Cavs at the 2018 February trade deadline from the Utah Jazz. He averaged 10.8 points in 21 games with Cleveland during the regular season, shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three.

The playoffs, however, were a different story.

Hood fell out of coach Tyronn Lue’s rotation and registered five DNP’s. The 25-year-old finally got a chance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors and showed what he’s capable of, scoring 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

Most league insiders think Hood cost himself a lot of money with his postseason struggles. The Cavs like Hood and his future on the team, but aren’t willing to overpay to bring him back.

“He’s uber-talented," Griffin said. "But when it’s put-up or shut up and the only thing that’s going to mark success is winning a championship, he doesn’t have that level of confidence yet. But I think this Cavs team is going to let him find that, in much the same way that he was so good with Utah. Members of his coaching staff told members of our coaching staff the year before I left (2017), he was more important to them than Gordon Hayward.”