The Dallas Mavericks pulled off a surprise trade on June 15 by acquiring Christian Wood from the Rockets. They sent Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, Sterling Brown, and the 26th overall pick in the 2022 draft to Houston in this deal.
Wood was surprisingly cheap, and that could be due to some of the locker room issues he reportedly had while in Houston. The 6'10 big man was suspended for one game last season after refused to check back into a game.
Since the Mavericks gave up so little in getting Wood, I think most Mavs fans will look past the fact he was a little bit of a headache in his last stop because of what he brings to his new team.
What Christian Woods brings to the Dallas Mavericks
The consensus was that the Mavericks desperately needed to address the lack of size this offseason. With the addition of Wood, it doesn't answer every question regarding the Mavs interior issues, but it's a great start.
Wood averaged 10.1 rebounds per game this year, a feat no Maverick has accomplished in the last three years. He is not an elite rebounder, which should prompt the Mavs to try and bolster up the position, but he's still a step up. Wood is 6'10 with a 7'3 wingspan. He's tall, long, and athletic. His size makes him a massive upgrade in the interior over any Maverick big on the roster.
What's fantastic about adding Wood is that typically when you add size, you lose shooting and spacing, but that's not the case here. He might be one of the best spot-up shooters on the Mavericks roster. He shot 39.0 percent from beyond the arc this year and is a respectable 38.0 percent for his career.
Wood is more than just a spot-up shooter on offense, though. He's super skilled for his guy his size, and he excels at facing bigs up and putting the ball on the floor to attack the rim. Wood averaged 19.1 points per game in two years for the Rockets, showing that he's a legitimate scoring threat that can get his shot inside and out.
The most significant question mark regarding Christian Wood is how he'll be on the defensive side of the ball. Like most of the Rockets team, Wood was horrid defensively last year. A young rebuilding team will always be poor on that side of the ball, so I don't entirely blame Wood for his lackluster play on defense. Being put in a winning situation can light a fire under a lot of guys and make them put in that effort to be at the very least serviceable.
An excellent example of this is the turnaround Andrew Wiggins has had. Being put in a winning situation can often ignite the flame that was once unlit because of the substandard conditioning. With all this being said, it's still something to look out for that Wood was so bad on defense. His range and length should make him a good defender, but until he buys in and proves it, we can't label him as a positive defender.
With the Dallas Mavericks just making the Western Conference Finals, a guy like Christian Wood could be what puts them over the edge and breakthrough as the next title-winning team in the West. Nico Harrison hit it out of the park with this move, and I can't wait for it to show when the Mavericks take the court in the fall.