The Utah Jazz have already started negotiating with Rodney Hood’s camp for a contract extension. Still reeling from losing Gordon Hayward to free-agency, the Jazz are attempting to lock up the blooming small forward before he hits the market as a restricted free-agent.

Hood extension

According to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, Jazz and Hood had ‘preliminary conversation’ on a possible contract extension. Both parties are expected to meet again on the negotiating table in the coming weeks. Utah reportedly wants to get Hood’s contract extension done before the start 2017/18 NBA season, while the player’s camp is ‘very open’ to that idea.

The 25-year old Hood averaged 12.4 points on 41 percent FG shooting with 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists over three NBA seasons. After starting in 155 games, the former Duke Blue Devils standout will be assuming a bigger role next season following Hayward’s departure. Jazz executives are optimistic Hood will have a breakout year this season. Jones stated in his report that Hood spent a majority of the summer in Salt Lake City training with the team’s coaching staff.

Hood’s case is a bit more difficult. He’s been a starter for much of his three years, and the Jazz need his ability to score with Hayward gone. The Jazz front office is hoping Hood can step forward and provide the top perimeter option Hayward vacated,” Jones noted.

Jazz to let Dante Exum hit free-agency

While Hood will likely get a lucrative contract extension soon, Exum may have to wait for one more season before he gets a chance to negotiate for his next deal. The Australian point guard is also eligible for a rookie scale contract extension. However, the Jazz front-office isn’t high in engaging extension talks with the former top-5 pick.

Exum posted 6.2 points on 42 percent FG shooting in his first season after skipping the whole 2016/16 season with an ACL tear in his left knee. Despite his slow progress, several personnel within the Jazz organization are optimistic the 22-year old Exum will also have his best season.

If no contract extension takes place before the deadline, Exum will play out the whole 2017/18 season and test the market as a restricted free-agent.

Under that circumstance, the Jazz can match any offer sheet because they still hold his Bird right.

Alec Burks injury update

In a separate article, Jones confirmed that Burks was already medically cleared to participate in contact drills at camp. The 26-year old shooting guard was sidelined in the middle of Jazz’s postseason campaign with a knee injury. According to the NBA insider, Burks is now at full health.