CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers have some clarity with one of their free agent forwards.
No, not that one.
While waiting to see if they’re in LeBron James’ plans, the Cavaliers intend to extend a $3.4 million qualifying offer to Rodney Hood, making him a restricted free agent and protecting the club if he receives any offers.
The team will make the offer to Hood before Friday’s deadline, said a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the club is not publicly discussing its plans ahead of free agency starting Sunday.
Cleveland.com first reported the Cavaliers’ intentions with Hood.
Also, the Cavs intend to pick up center Kendrick Perkins’ $2.5 million non-guaranteed contract for next season, the person said. The move with Perkins, who signed at the end of the regular season but did not appear in any playoff games, is so the team can potentially use his salary slot in a trade.
Perkins has had two stints with Cleveland.
Meanwhile, James has until 11:59 p.m. Friday to pick up his $35.6 million contract option for next season or he will become a free agent. The 33-year-old is expected to decline the option, but it’s also possible he could exercise it and be traded if Cleveland works out a deal in order to acquire assets for the three-time champion.
The Cavs have not yet heard from James.
At this point, days away from free agency officially beginning, anything seems possible.
The 25-year-old Hood had an interesting few months with Cleveland, which acquired him from Utah in that flurry of trades executed at the Feb. 8 deadline by general manager Koby Altman. Hood struggled to blend into Cleveland’s rotation, but he’s young and inexpensive and the team believes the 6-foot-8 forward can help it stay competitive — with or without James.
Hood started Cleveland’s first playoff game before losing coach Tyronn Lue’s trust and falling out of the rotation. He re-emerged in the NBA Finals and scored 15 points in the Game 3 loss to Golden State.
He averaged 10.8 points in 21 regular-season games with the Cavs.
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