Trail Blazer Coach Terry Stotts Monday confirmed that newcomer Rodney Hood will be in the team’s rotation as soon as he’s available to play.
“He will come in and play right away,” Stotts said, adding that the team sent Hood, who was to arrive in Portland Monday afternoon, video of some of its sets and plays.
So the big question is, whose minutes will he be taking? The players shipped to Cleveland in the Hood trade were Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin. Neither has been in the recent Portland rotation.
So who sits when Hood plays?
An obvious guess would be Jake Layman, who has been the backup wing to Maurice Harkless and has done so very well of late. Layman was asked his reaction when he heard his team had traded for Hood, a 6-8 wing capable of playing multiple positions.
“I didn’t have any reaction,” he said. “It is what it is. It will help our team. We’re happy to have another scorer, another defender out there. It gives us more depth.”
But do you expect you might sacrifice some minutes?
“I have no clue,” he said. “I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing – stay ready.”
But Layman may not be the answer to this question.
One of the things that sticks out about Hood is his versatility. Stotts believes he can defend multiple positions and that fits with how the Portland coach chooses his lineups throughout the game.
“It depends on who he’s out there on the court with,” Stotts said when asked about what position Hood will play. “There will be an adjustment period for everybody, including me.”
That means that even though Hood isn’t a center or a guard or a power forward, his minutes could come from players at any of those positions.
Stotts has little regard for traditional positions when putting lineups on the floor – he’s matching up with the opponent or trying to put a group on the floor that will give the team what it needs at a particular time, whether that’s offense, defense, speed or power.
That would mean that Hood and Layman could find themselves on the floor together. Or that Meyers Leonard, Zach Collins or Maurice Harkless could lose minutes so that Hood can play.
It’s a question that won't be answered in just a handful of games.