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Rodney Hood still close with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell after trade

Cavs, Jazz, Rodney Hood, Donovan Mitchell

Cleveland Cavaliers swingman Rodney Hood is no longer a member of the Utah Jazz but he’s still close with several members of the organization, including guard Donovan Mitchell.

The Cavs acquired Hood (and George Hill) in a three-team deal with the Jazz and Sacramento Kings last February. As part of the trade, Cleveland sent Iman Shumpert, a 2020 second-round draft pick via the Miami Heat and the draft rights to Dimitrios Agravanis to the Kings. The Cavs also sent Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Utah.

Following Friday morning’s practice session, Hood noted the relationship he still shares with his former teammates and coaches.

“Who on the Jazz are still close with?” a reporter asked Hood. “Who do you still interact with?”

“Pretty much all of those guys,” Hood replied. “Johnnie Bryant — him and Tony Lang were two of the guys on their coaching staff that I was really cool with. They were like family to me. When I came into the league, they helped me along the way. And also, guys like Donovan (Mitchell), Rudy (Gobert), Royce (O’Neale), Ekpe Udoh and Joe (Ingles). All of those guys — I’m still particularly cool with.”

Hood, 26-years-old, is now in his second year of service with the Cavs. Though he was expected to become the Jazz’s go-to player after forward Gordon Hayward signed with the Boston Celtics, the rise of Mitchell caused Utah to be caught in-between allowing Hood — who was averaging 16.8 points per game — to be their go-to player on the wing, or to allow Mitchell, who averaged 20.5 points per game as a rookie and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting.

Their choice was Mitchell.

A Mississippi-native, Hood has made 33 appearances with the team this season, racking up averages of 12.9 points on 44.9 percent shooting from the field (38.1 percent from beyond the arc), 2.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and just under one steal (0.9) in 28.1 minutes per contest.

He’ll have a shot at besting his former team and getting a dose of revenge against them on Friday night, as the Cavs are scheduled to face the Jazz inside Quicken Loans Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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