Rodney Hood is one of the best shooters in this year's draft, with a great stroke and an efficient shooting percentage. Is he the right fit for the Suns?
Position: Small Forward
- Height: 6' 7.25" without shoes, 6' 8.5" with shoes
- Weight: 208 pounds
- Age: 22
- Wingspan: 6' 8.5"
- Standing Reach: 8' 7"
- Maximum Vertical Leap: 36"
- Lane Agility: 11.21 sec (5th among SF)
- 3/4 Court Sprint: 3.18 sec (Tied 3rd among SF)
- Shuttle Drill: 3.14 sec (5th among SF)
Hood looks the part of a NBA wing, standing 6-8 in shoes with a lanky build and smooth and fluid (but not incredibly explosive) athleticism. He made 42% of his 3-pointers on the year and is one of the better shooters in this draft class, showing excellent mechanics and a high release point, to go along with deep range, and being capable of knocking down jumpers with his feet set or off the dribble. He hit 37 of the 85 pull-up jump-shot attempts he took on the season (43%), which ranks #1 among college prospects in our Top-100 Rankings.
Hood's biggest weakness as a NBA prospect likely revolves around his defense, as he shows questionable intensity on this end of the floor, rarely getting into an actual stance and frequently being knocked off balance and taken advantage of off the dribble due to his lack of strength. His relatively short arms don't do him any favors here, as he measured just a 6-8 wingspan on a few occasions, which is accurately reflected in his inability to generate steals (.9 per-40), blocks (.3) or rebounds (4.9), all of which rank among the worst rates in the draft at his position.
Strengths: Solid athlete and left handed wing scorer that can score from all three levels … Really strong shooter from both the outside and midrange, stretches the floor … First step is strong and can take defenders off of the dribble … Capable passer who has some play making ability, unselfish … Solid conditioning, able to stay on the court for long periods of time … Has definitely put in a lot of work on his body and gained significant amount of weight during time in college without losing speed in the process … Range looks to be out to NBA 3-pt range, while shooting over 80% FT as well … His length is not tremendous, though has good size for a SF regardless … Has versatility to maybe play wing guard as well as showing some perimeter defensive ability … Will finish with either hand and is a threat near the basket … Lets the game come to him, rarely forces the issue and plays under control … Will take advantage of height advantage to post smaller wings … Gets shots in a variety of ways, through cuts, spot-up and even can be a threat off the step back … When he is focused, can be a disruptive wing defender due to his size
Weaknesses: Though he has worked on his body, he still has a slight frame and needs to add upper body strength, which would allow him to play tougher … Vast majority of offense comes as a shooter, definitely affected by lack of girth in his hesitation to drive … Not a great rebounder, which again points to strength … Length is not exceptional and also may contribute to issues on the boards and possibly defensively at the NBA level … At times he's not assertive enough, settling for jump shots rather than trying to use his size, speed and handle to his advantage … Averaged very few offensive rebounds, especially on a team that was missing size and could have used them … Defensive effort is questionable at times and must work on awareness at that end … Relatively low rate of getting to the FT stripe for how much he had the ball … Though he is a sophomore, his age is actually in accordance with being an older junior … Consistency as a go-to scorer still largely inconclusive, does he have the confidence and muscle to take on a sizable scoring load at the next level?
Rodney Hood is one of the best shooters in this year's draft. As a sophomore, Hood was second in scoring in scoring at Duke (16.1 pts/game), behind likely top 5 pick Jabari Parker (19.1 pts/game). Hood has good size at the wing position, and the versatility to play either the two or the three. Not only is he an excellent shooter with a beautiful stroke, he is very capable of hitting shots in catch-and-shoot situations, or pulling up off the dribble. He already possesses NBA range, and has a very fluid shooting motion and great form that lends itself to consistency from inside the arc or out. Another underrated aspect of his game is his turn-around jumper/baby-hook shot in the paint, which he seems very comfortable shooting, at least when moving to the left. He also has nice elevation on his jump shot inside and out, which helps him get his shot off against the defense.
Hood's biggest negative is his defense. Despite good size and pretty good athleticism, he struggles to guard his man and stay in front of him. I'm not sure if it's just bad fundamentals or a lack of effort, or possibly both...but he often seems out of position and doesn't get low enough, or look ready to defend. Another thing I noticed about Hood is that he seldom drives right. He is left handed, and when he does try to attack the basket, he almost always drives and finishes left. As a shooter, this isn't an issue, but he will have to be more versatile when driving to the rim at the next level.
All in all, Rodney Hood has a lot of ability as a shooter, and can definitely help out an NBA team with his ability to score at an efficient rate. As you can see by his mock draft status, his value is all over the place, being mocked as high as eighth, or as low as 21st overall. I personally wouldn't take him with the 14th pick, but at 18, he suddenly starts looking much more attractive, depending on who is still on the board. Hood is an NBA ready shooter/scorer who can fill an immediate need off the bench. The question is, can he ever be more than that?