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?

Rodney Hood

School: Duke

Position: Small Forward

Mock Draft Projections: - 8, Draft Express - 13, ESPN - 19, NBA Draft Insider - 21



  • Height: 6' 7.25" without shoes, 6' 8.5" with shoes
  • Weight: 208 pounds
  • Age: 22
  • Wingspan: 6' 8.5"
  • Standing Reach: 8' 7"

Combine Numbers

  • 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)

Expert Analysis

Mike Schmitz - DraftExpress

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.

Michael Visenberg -

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?

My Take

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?

Should the Suns Draft Rodney Hood?

  211 votes | Results

Welcome to the Madhouse! Bright Side of the Sun is an amazing and diverse community and it deserves a place where the tyranny of topicality does not rule. And that's what The Madhouse is. It's Bright Side of the Sun's place to talk about whatever you want, whenever you want: favorite TV shows, news from around the league or OH MY GOD WE HAVE 4 LONG MONTHS WITH NO REAL GAMES. It's all fair game here.

We always hear about how one draft is better than another. Let's put that to the test, and have all the prospects from the 2013 and 2014 Drafts available for a single composite draft.

For two years now, analysts, scouts and draftniks have said that the 2013 NBA Draft was terrible and the 2014 Draft would be the best in many years. What if we merged the two drafts together? How would the top 10 from 2013 fare in this gauntlet of prospects?

If you recall, 2013 was marred with a Top 10 that had no consensus. A player projected as low as 10th within the weeks leading up to the draft was taken #1 overall. Another player projected in the late lottery was taken 4th. Yet the two consensus #1 and #2 picks dropped to #6 and #7 respectively once the draft actually happened.

What does that tell you? It tells me that there was a whole lot nothing to get excited about in the 2013 Draft. Unfortunately for the Suns, that happened to be the year they had their highest pick since the 80s.

I asked many of those draftniks and scouts to give me their perspective on comparing the 2013 and 2014 Drafts, and then asked where Suns draftees Alex Len and Archie Goodwin would fall if the two drafts were mashed together.

But first things first. Let's compare the two drafts. If the 2013 prospects all went into suspended animation for one year and came out this year along with the 2014 guys, would any of the Top 10 in the 2013 Draft make this year's top ten?

On 2013 vs. 2014

Jonathan Wasserman, and BleacherReport:

Last year's draft was flat out bad. We knew that heading into June. Nerlens Noel would be a top 10 pick this year. That's probably it.

Matt Moore of and

Only Anthony Bennett and Victor Oladipo would make a composite Top 10 of 2013 and 2014 prospects. (paraphrased)

Kris Habbas, and Bright Side contributor:

Not one prospect in the 2013 Class had the upside of an Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, or Dante Exum. Alex Len would be in competition with the next tier.

James Plowright, The Lottery Mafia:

The 2013 draft class looks to be one of the weakest in recent times. The fact that Alex Len received one All-NBA [Rookie] Second team vote despite averaging just two points and two rebounds while playing just eight minutes per game signified the struggle of the 2013 draft class. If we look forward to 2014, it looks to be a very different picture with a historically deep draft.

ESPN Draft Tiers

Whatever you think of the mothership, their piece each year on draft tiers is a good one.

This year, ESPN projects nine 2014 prospects with a better future than any 2013 prospect. Nine players in the 2014 Draft have the talent to make multiple All-Star games, while none of the 2013 prospects were rated as better than "regular starters".

This year, three players rank in the "franchise player' category (Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins), Since 2009 (four prior drafts), only three players ranked this high on potential (Blake Griffin, John Wall and Anthony Davis). Each one of them is a true franchise player today.

Six more prospects rank in the 'potential All-Star category': Julius Randle, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, Dario Saric, Marcus Smart and Noah Vonleh. By comparison, only five prospects in the last three drafts - total - were considered potential multi-time All-Stars (Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams).

Clearly, ESPN can get it wrong. While Barnes, Williams and Kidd-Gilchrist have failed to show any signs of being All-Stars out of those five, ESPN overlooked Andre Drummond and Damian Lillard. Still, over the three prior drafts only Lillard, Drummond, Beal and Irving look like All-Stars waiting to happen.

In the regular starters group that contained the top 6 prospects from 2013, this year's draft tier contains more than a dozen players.

A composite 2013-14 NBA Draft

Among the draft experts' opinions two things stand out:

  • There is little consensus on who from the 2013 Draft would make a composite Top 10 of 2013-14. Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett, Alex Len and Victor Oladipo all got votes.
  • Yet, none of the draftniks/scouts suggested more than 2 of the 2013 Draftees making a composite Top 10
My personal guess at a Composite 2013-14 NBA Draft would look something like this (expanded to a Top 20):
  1. Joel Embiid, C
  2. Jabari Parker, SF
  3. Andrew Wiggins, SG
  4. Dante Exum, PG
  5. Marcus Smart, PG
  6. Nerlens Noel, PF/C (2013)
  7. Noah Vonleh, PF
  8. Julius Randle, PF
  9. Victor Oladipo, SG/PG (2013)
  10. Aaron Gordon, SF/PF
  11. Dario Saric, PF
  12. Alex Len, C (2013)
  13. Ben McLemore, SG (2013)
  14. Otto Porter, SF (2013)
  15. Nick Stauskas, SG
  16. Gary Harris, SG
  17. Anthony Bennett, SF/PF (2013)
  18. Cody Zeller, PF (2013)
  19. Adreian Payne, PF
  20. Elfrid Payton, PG

Again, this is assuming all of last year's guys were frozen for a year. Nerlens Noel is 18 years old again. Alex Len is 19 years old again. And so on. This is also assuming my own personal ranking of 2013 draftees, not the rankings of other sites. Bennett went #1 and Zeller went #4, but I had both guys in the 8-12 range in terms of talent.

In hindsight, you might put a Michael Carter-Williams in this Top 20 and drop out Otto Porter, but that's only with the beauty of seeing their rookie year in the NBA. I just didn't like Porter as a prospect, period. You might also drop Noel and Alex Len lower due to his injury issues if you knew how their rookie year went.

But I've got Noel in the top 10 and Alex Len just outside of it, because size matters. When GMs start sifting through similarly talented players, the ones with true NBA size and/or unique skills rise to the top. Alex Len's draft profile puts him as no worse than the third best center prospect in the composite draft. He's 7'1", can move, can score, can rebound, can defend. His only issues are production and health.

Let's delve a little more into Alex Len.

On Alex Len

Matt Moore:

(comments extrapolated from DMs on twitter) Moore says Alex Len would drop to about 20th overall. Moore admitted he would drop Len that low at least partially on the ankle issues. Few players in this draft have any injury issues. so Len's issue might have had more of an impact this year.

Kris Habbas:

I could see Len being a Top 10 Pick in the 2014 Draft. Len would be in competition with the likes of Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart, and Aaron Gordon for the next 3-5 spots after the Top 5.

(note: when the question changed to a full composite draft, Kris dropped Len into the 10-15 range)

James Plowright:

In a draft where there are a plethora of wings, but a shortage of centers (just two in DX's top 25) would Len still go as high as five? Probably not, but he would most likely go higher than his talent and potential suggests he should. You always hear that size rises in the draft, seven footers with an advanced offensive game, soft touch and good agile/athletic ability is a rarity today's NBA. A team lingering in the late lottery, or just outside would find it hard to pass up on such an opportunity.

If I had to give a range, I would say Len would sit in the 11-18 range, if I had to pick a team in particular where he would fit I think the Nuggets #11, Hawks #15 or the Suns at #14 would all be good landing spots. However, if teams were aware of Len's lingering foot injuries that plagued him during his second year at Maryland and rookie season in the league, then it is possible his stock would slide down to the early-mid twenties.

Aran Smith,

I would put him at 10, my first tier would be Embiid, Parker and Wiggins. Second tier Exum, Smart, Randle and Vonleh. He would be within the next group consisting of LaVine, Hood, McDermott, Stauskas, Gordon, etc.

(note: Aran was initially only asked about Len, in particular, being in this Draft. Not including other 2013 Draftees)

Jonathan Wasserman:

I'd have Len in that mid-to-late first round. Len isn't a top-five talent. He's got lottery upside (based on his size, athleticism, skill set) but no real production anywhere to show for it. Between the improved depth of this year's class, Len's foot problems and his underdeveloped game, I could think of 12-15 2014 prospects off the top of my head who'd be safer yet equally rewarding options if they hit their potential.

Thoughts on Len range from just outside the Top 10 to as low as 20th. A far drop for a guy ranked by as the #1 prospect in 2013 just before the draft.

On Archie Goodwin

A couple of the scouts gave me feedback on where Archie Goodwin would go, considering the depth of the 2014 Draft and Archie's underwhelming freshman season at Kentucky.

Kris Habbas:

I could see Goodwin in the Top 40 range. Last years shooting guard class was underwhelming after the top two prospects of Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo. In whatever order Reggie Bullock, Jamaal Franklin, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Tim Hardaway Jr. were the next tier in the positional class, but only Hardaway Jr. made any impact last year. This year, Goodwin would be in the mix with the plethora of combo guard athletes or big athletic point guards like LaVine, Jordan Clarkson, Elfrid Payton, and Spencer Dinwiddie, and well behind shooting guards Harris, McLemore, Oladipo and Bullock.

James Plowright:

I think Archie would be pushed into the second round, he only just scraped into the first last year despite most scouts and GMs thinking he would be a second round selection. I would see him going around the same area as Jordan Adams, so the 30-40 range would seem about right. What works in Goodwin's favor is his age, a bad rebuilding team may take a swing on someone with his upside with one of their early second round picks. Personally, I like Goodwin more than LaVine as a prospect, but I understand that I am in the absolute minority in that opinion, I have watched LaVine a lot this year and have constantly found myself flabbergasted (bonus points for using that word?) at his low skill level and poor basketball IQ.


It looks like the 2013 Draft has lived up to its reputation as a dog. A 19-year old Alex Len would drop to somewhere between 10th and 20th overall, maybe even going 14th to the Suns who would only have Miles Plumlee and Channing Frye on the post with Frye a potential free agent. Archie Goodwin would still probably be drafted right around where he was drafted last year, maybe just a hair later.

Since Len is just 20 years old a year later, it looks like the Suns actually have 4 first round picks in this draft, all slated in the 10-27 range, and two second round picks including 19-year old Goodwin. After this draft, Len and Goodwin may STILL be the youngest guys on the team.

That's a lot of draft picks, which further explains why the Suns have no intention of keeping all four draft picks in this upcoming draft on June 26. One way or another, you can't have half your roster being under-22 and expect to win a lot of games. And that doesn't even consider the two additional first rounders next year.

Expect the Suns to flip at least two of those assets, if not three, by October. Like Houston experienced in 2012, the perfect trade may not materialize at the draft. But by opening night, expect no more than three of Len, Goodwin and three 2014 first round picks to be on the active roster, not with two more high picks coming just a year later.

Would Alex Len be a Top 10 pick in a composite 2013-14 Draft?

  332 votes | Results

Could the best player of this generation wind up in Phoenix?

While watching LeBron James dominate the beginning of game 5 of the NBA Finals, my friends and I hypothesized what we would do to see LeBron don the purple and orange next season. From spending time in jail to things that are not appropriate enough to post here, it got pretty far. We couldn't really tell if it was pathetic or not that this would be the best day of our lives, but that's the reality of sports fandom and one of the greatest players of all time in his prime coming to your favorite franchise that has yet to win a championship.

A small disclaimer first. This is clearly a hypothetical situation I am divulging on. The logical thinking for me is to see LeBron to Phoenix as a great fit and ranking it as the best one in my opinion (more on that later), but I'd be shocked if he even got near a meeting with the Suns. Besides, we all know that with the magic of McDonough that he would have LeBron as soon as he entered the room like an in his prime Don Draper.

Now we take a look at why the Phoenix Suns are the best option for LeBron James in 2014.

"The Man"

Being the man on a team is simple, as you are the clear leader of the team and are unquestionably the best player. Dwyane Wade quickly learned during the start of the Big 3 era that this point of his "leading man" career was now over, and it was going to be LeBron running the show. While I love Goran Dragic and thought his All-NBA placement was well deserved, there is a vacancy for "The Man" at the Suns in my opinion. They lack a true alpha and superstar player, and who better for the job than the best athlete in the world? With veteran leaders like Channing Frye and PJ Tucker, LeBron would fit right in and be able to lead. A team like the Bulls already has a messiah in Derrick Rose (start debating his injury I guess) which is why people believe LeBron passed in the first place for The Decision.

The Fit

Here is what will cause the most debate and where we really get into this. I believe the Suns are the best fit for LeBron if he wants to win a couple more rings to truly make him and MJ a debate. First of all, the backcourt is set. Dragic is in his prime right now at 28 years old and has proved that he is an All-Star combo guard. Ditto for Eric Bledsoe, who could have easily debated a spot on the All-Star team had he been healthy. Bledsoe is also just 24 years old somehow, and in terms of volume and efficiency was one of the top 5 drivers in the NBA last season. Him and LeBron attacking the rim consistently would be frightening. PJ Tucker is the best and I love that man, but him testing free agency this season would leave the spot wide open for LeBron to step in. While some teams will try to pad their resume over the Suns roster with a solidified NBA head coach, our wonderful Rollin J. Mason has already given you the rundown on the best new coach in the NBA Jeff Hornacek.

While LeBron is struggling with Chris Bosh and the ten years later Sonics combo of Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen to be his perimeter shooters, the Suns would thrive. We've all seen how absurd LeBron's vision is while slashing the lane, and you could surround him with shooters like Dragic (40.8%), Bledsoe (35.7%), Gerald Green (40%), Frye (37%), and Marcus Morris (38%) from three. To spin that the other way, you would have two combo guards in Dragic and Bledsoe consistently finding LeBron in the right spot and from three (38%). This would also help improve the worst team statistic for the Suns last year, assists (29th in the NBA).

Defensively, the Suns would have two athletic freaks in LeBron and Bledsoe able to lock down the two wing weapons for a team and the consistently improving rim protection of a true center in Miles Plumlee (only 25). In terms of another prime defender to help LeBron with a timeshare, the Suns could look to the draft for that (cue K.J. McDaniels lovers freaking out) and still have some young guys trying to get better there. It wouldn't be the perfect fit for LeBron as a fit for a defensive team, but we all saw how surprisingly well this defense played despite being a brand new roster and it would get significantly better with LeBron.

The Rings and The Future

LeBron wants to be known as the best ever, and while I will definitely leave that argument to someone like Bill Simmons, LeBron needs a couple more rings before it can be a debate between him and MJ. I believe the Suns are the best fit for that. As I stated with the roster, this is the best mix of a current roster in terms of their age and ability right now. Now I'm no expert, but I think Dragic would do whatever he could to re-up in 2015 and win with LeBron and company. This would give the Suns a true "big 3" in LeBron, Dragic, and Bledsoe, with some humongous potential developments in youth.

Miles Plumlee is a bargain right now whether or not you are Team Alex, and it gives the Suns a true center while Len continues to develop. By the time Plumlee earns his payday or possibly earlier than that, Len would be ready to be an even better center than Plumlee ever could be based on his potential out of the draft. Archie Goodwin would continue to work out his combo guard quirk (he's only 19) while the Suns have five first round picks for the next two years. Either use those picks this year to grab a future of contributors now and later, or trade a bundle of them to move up and grab one of the lovely Randle/Gordon/Vonleh pieces at power forward.

Whatever scenario goes through in the draft, LeBron is getting the most young talent he has EVER had around him, and who better to help those players develop than him? The best part of this is that the Suns have the right mix of good enough players WITHOUT those young players (48 wins last season remember?) to make a serious run at multiple championships with LeBron right now and even in his twilight years. Adding in the eventual contributions of Len, Goodwin, Rookie X, Rookie Y, and Rookie Z (2014 trade up, international pick at 27/50, Lakers pick), and it looks to be a dynasty (gasp!). This is what separates the Suns from teams that aren't ready right now like the Sixers, Cavs, Celtics Knicks, and Lakers (HAHAHAHAHA), and teams like Miami, Houston, and the Clippers who would only be able to give LeBron his run right NOW (Miami PTSD).

Lastly, LeBron would be a Phoenix Suns and Arizona legend for the rest of his life. He'd be the best player to ever play for the Suns and would be seen as the lord and savior of a franchise that has never won an NBA Finals and a state that has had more arena football and WNBA titles than major sports titles. I don't need to explain how much everyone loves it in Phoenix and always finds a home here after their career is over. LeBron wouldn't face any scrutiny because the situation would quite simply be too good to fail and he could end his note on a couple more rings with a fantastic fan base that deserves to see their purple and orange jerseys hold up an NBA championship.

All in all, like I said, I'd be shocked if LeBron decided to even consider the Suns. He's got options like Houston and Cleveland that make a lot of sense both in narrative, a capable enough roster, and the legacy. I think he is far too tunnel vision on the option that first comes to mind. If he takes a step back though and considers all the options, I'd probably black out and wake up to the Suns finally winning a title. We can all dream right?

Image Credit goes to Daniel Kraus (@DanielNBA77)

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