Dallas Mavericks X factor for 2022-23 season: 2. Christian Wood
Wood was the team’s biggest offseason acquisition. The 6’10 forward averaged 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.0 block during his two seasons in Houston, but the Rockets were one of the worst teams in the league during that stretch. C-Wood is eager to prove that he can contribute to winning and still produce monster numbers.
The 27-year-old has a versatile offensive game that should pair nicely with Luka Doncic. He can space the floor or work as a roll man when playing next to the Mavs superstar. Wood can also handle the ball and create his own shot. Coach Kidd even talked about him working out of the post some this season. Defenses will be keyed on Luka, which will create plenty of room for C-Wood to attack.
Wood is projected to come off the bench to start the year with JaVale McGee opening games at center. J-Kidd likes to have a traditional big man in the starting five, but the team needs to see how Wood fits on the defensive end. He has struggled to defend both the four and the five in his career, and coach Kidd has emphasized defense since joining the team. Can C-Wood step up enough to earn significant minutes?
If Christian Wood is averaging a 20-point double-double per game, the Dallas Mavericks are going to be tough to defeat. Can he do it efficiently, while playing league-average defense? Stay tuned to find out.