Christian Wood, the versatile forward/center, has officially found a new home in the NBA. After spending two months in free agency, Wood has inked a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, worth a total of $5.7 million. Notably, this contract includes a player option for the second year, indicating Wood’s confidence in his abilities and his aim to secure a more lucrative deal next offseason.
Wood’s journey to the Lakers involved several stops along the way. He initially gained recognition as the second-best player on the Dallas Mavericks before they acquired Kyrie Irving. You may also read
Despite not fitting perfectly into Mavericks’ coach Jason Kidd’s defensive-oriented system, Wood consistently delivered on offense and the boards, averaging 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in just 25.9 minutes per game.
Throughout his early NBA career, Wood had stints with several teams, playing limited roles for the 76ers, Hornets, Bucks, and Pelicans. However, his breakthrough came with the Detroit Pistons during the 2019-20 season, where he started 12 of 62 games and averaged 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds.
This performance earned him a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets, where he had the best statistical seasons of his career, posting averages of 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 109 games.
Now, as Wood joins the Lakers, he aims to return to his Houston-level production and establish a more extended tenure with the team. His scoring ability and proficiency in the pick-and-roll make him a valuable addition, especially alongside LeBron James.
Speaking of LeBron, during a previous matchup against Wood, James singled him out as a formidable opponent, praising his skills and potential impact on the court. This endorsement from LeBron underscores the significance of Wood’s signing for the Lakers, who are focused on building around James and Anthony Davis for the 2023-24 season.
In addition to Wood, the Lakers have made other notable acquisitions like Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, and Cam Reddish, further strengthening their roster.
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way, the Lakers are poised for another competitive season, aiming to reach the NBA Finals once again. Meanwhile, the Mavericks continue to reshape their roster around their star player, Luka Dončić, in their quest to contend for a championship.