NBA Position: SF
General Information: 21 year old freshman, played at Duke and Mississippi State. From Meridian, Mississippi.
Measurables: 6'8.5", 208 lbs, 6'8.5″ wingspan, 8'7″ standing reach
2013-14 Season Statistics: 16.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.2 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.5 TPG (32.8 minutes per contest) – 46.4 FG%, 80.7 FT%, 42.0 3FG%, 59% TS
Summary: Hood is one of the better shooters in the draft, with a solid mid-range game and an excellent touch out to the three point line. He's a smart player with good court awareness, and is a solid ball-handler and a willing passer. While he lacked any intensity on defense, he has good potential thanks to his excellent size and solid athleticism.
Offensive Breakdown: Hood is one of the best shooters in the class and is only a small tier below Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas. He sank two three pointers a game at a 42% clip, and with his excellent size (6'8.5 in shoes) he won't struggle to shoot over NBA size small forwards. He's excellent as a mid-range shooter when he can keep his feet set, amd showed good consistency coming off screens and as a catch-and-shoot player.
He was also asked to create in isolation, and he was effective at it with his solid ball-handling and ability to spot-up anywhere within 25 feet of the hoop. He's a dangerous weapon in the pick-and-roll, especially since he's a capable passer (13.4% assist rate, second to Kyle Anderson among small forwards). He played the point in High School, and he generally doesn't make careless turnovers (1.5 a contest and a 10% turnover rate).
Hood improved as a slasher, but it isn't an NBA ready weapon yet. Only 18.9% of his offense came at the rim, and while he's got above-average athleticism and a decent first step, he's a tweener and will need to add significant muscle mass if he's going to attack the paint. Duke played smaller lineups and Hood was often slotted in against collegiate power forwards, but that won't work in the NBA when he's outweighed by 30-40 pounds. He's left-dominant and isn't comfortable dribbling or attacking with his right hand.
Defensive Breakdown: With above-average size and athleticism, Hood has the potential to be a solid NBA defender. His max vertical is an impressive 36' inches, and he finished in the top third of the agility test. He doesn't have a great wingspan (6'8.5), and he'll again need to bulk up to face stronger NBA players, but physically he's a promising player.
However, Hood doesn't play defense with the same intensity as he's shown on offense. This was a worrying trait shared by teammate and probable top-three selection Jabari Parker, and was exceedingly prevalent in the NCAA Tournament loss to 14 seeded Mercer. He doesn't have great fundamentals, and he'll need extensive work on his defensive awareness and on his footwork. He also produced little in the defensive stats (1.3% steal rate and .8% block rate).
Hood is also not a great rebounder despite his height, snagging just 3.9 boards a game at a 7.2% rebounding rate. This is significantly lower than other small forwards in the class like Andrew Wiggins (12.3%), K.J. McDaniels (12.5%), Jerami Grant (17.2%) or Kyle Anderson (15.4%). With his mediocre wingspan and lack of muscle, this will be a significantly bigger problem in the NBA.
Intangibles: Hood played at Mississippi State his freshman year before deciding to transfer when Coach Rick Stansbury retired and Arnett Moultrie/Renardo Sidney both declared for the NBA Draft. Hood was a high-profile transfer in the year he sat out at Duke, but accepted the 2nd option role immediately when Jabari Parker joined the team. He went from being an above-average shooter at Mississippi State to a more complete player at Duke, especially when it came to his court awareness.
Fit with Sacramento: Hood is a logical target if the Kings opt to trade back; he's one of the top shooters in the draft, and with his athleticism and size he has the potential to be a very good all-around player. He's got good court awareness and is a willing passer, and as he continues to work on attacking the basket he'll become a well rounded offensive player. While he's still developing as a defender, he's got the size and quickness to guard either wing position if he buys into playing with more intensity.
General Manager Pete D'Alessandro has said he believes the Kings biggest needs are shooting and playmaking, and Hood is a great shooter and a solid playmaker. He could come off the bench behind Rudy Gay and slide in as a starter if needed – although Michael Malone would have a good amount of defensive work to do.
With his size, excellent shooting and above-average athleticism, Hood is one of my favorite trade-back options. He has the potential to be a steal with a late-teens/early 20s selection.