Christian Wood is a perfect complement for non-conformists


(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Late Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets agreed to a trade with Christian Wood.

Wood goes to Dallas in exchange for the 26th pick in this year’s draft, Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss.

Wood is entering the final season of the three-year, $41 million contract he signed with the Rockets in 2020.

He was considered an item on Houston’s roster likely to be moved this offseason as they seek to continue their rebuild.

The Rockets now have the third, 17th and 26th picks in the draft.

In return, the Mavericks significantly improve their frontcourt.

Dallas’ lack of frontline talent was glaring in their 4-1 loss in the Western Conference Finals.

They were outplayed in the paint and on the glass by the Golden State Warriors.

The Mavs hope Wood can be the big man Kristaps Porzingis never was.

Wood Saver Offensively

Wood’s biggest selling point is his offensive talent.

After playing 50 games in his first three seasons, he had a breakthrough year in 2019 with Detroit.

Wood appeared in 62 games, including 12 starts, and averaged 13.1 points per game in 21.4 minutes.

He shot 56.7% from the field, 38.6% on three on 2.3 attempts per game and 74.4% from the line.

Good for a true shooting percentage of 65.9%, eighth-best in the league among those who have appeared in at least 60 games.

After signing with Houston, he took on an expanded role.

His first year with the team saw him average 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.

In his second year, they dropped a bit to 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

But its effectiveness has not suffered much.

Both years saw his true shooting percentage fall below his top 10 in Detroit, but still hover around 60%, a respectable mark.

Wood knocked down 39% of his five threes per game last season and is a career shooter 38% from deep.

His ability to score from all three tiers and generate his own attack will help ease Luka Doncic’s burden.

Wood will also be a talented pick-and-roll partner that Doncic will work with offensively.

Talent consolidation

On the court, Wood will be an offensive upgrade over Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber.

Dallas still needs to add rim protection and inside defense because Wood isn’t as strong at that end of the field.

But off the court, acquiring Wood for four end-of-rotation plays is a big win.

The Mavericks already have their centerpiece in Doncic.

Now, the priority becomes to surround him with the necessary talent to win.

Marjanovic, Burke, Brown and Chriss are all guys who didn’t play more than 13 minutes per game last year.

Pack them up and a first for a big man who can play over 30 minutes a game is a win.

Dallas faces a potentially huge payroll, so trading four smaller contracts that offer little on-field value for one contract with potentially significant on-field value is significant.

The trade also opens up roster spots for the Mavericks to bring in other deep signings to round out the roster.

Acquiring Wood was a shrewd move on the part of the Mavericks.




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