Before the NBA Trade Deadline on Thursday, the Portland Trail Blazers shipped off veteran Rodney Hood, as well as guard Gary Trent Jr., to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Norman Powell.
Just four days later, Hood will face his former team at the Raptors' temporary home in Tampa, Florida. Just how is he feeling about Sunday’s reunion at Amalie Arena?
“It’s I would guess kind of awkward,” Hood said after the Raptors practiced on Saturday. “I think it’ll be fun to see guys, see the guys again. I’m sure they miss me more than I miss them, but it’ll be cool.”
Hood, like Trent Jr., was taking a pre-game nap in his hotel room in Miami on Thursday when he woke up to 12 missed calls and 20 messages. He had been traded.
“I was sleeping very heavy,” Hood said. “I talked to the GM Neil [Olshey] and he explained why. We just expressed how much we appreciated each other while we were there in Portland and I appreciate them giving me an opportunity, and then I got a chance to talk to everybody else...
“Hoodie,” as Trail Blazers fans called him, was averaging 4.7 points per game while shooting 36.5 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from deep since returning from a torn Achilles tendon. The seven-year veteran suffered the injury in the Blazers loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 6, 2019 and is still working toward getting his feel for the game back.
“Yeah, it's been tough this year just trying to work my way back and get healthier. I didn't have an off-season,” Hood said. “Obviously this is another stepping stone to get traded but I feel myself getting healthier, I feel like towards the end of the season I'll be a little more back to myself but I've got to take time and that's been the frustrating part about it, but I'm excited about where I'm headed.”
While there will be few Blazers fans in the arena on Sunday in Tampa, many of them will still be cheering Hood and Trent Jr. with the Raptors. The Trail Blazers and Raptors face off on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. PT.