Free agency rumors: Former Dallas Mavericks' center's value unexpectedly plummets

Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks
Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

Last summer, the Dallas Mavericks thought they had their big man of the future.

Dallas sent their 2022 first-round pick, Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, and Marquese Chriss, to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Christian Wood. This move excited Mavs' fans as they thought they finally had their answer at big man.

But fans quickly figured out that wasn't the case.

Free agency rumors: Former Dallas Mavericks' big man's value plummets

Wood was underwhelming, to say the least, on defense. His offense was great. He could score in a variety of ways and averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game last season for the Mavs. But his defensive struggles caused his minutes to vary and couldn't keep him on the floor.

Dallas desperately needed Wood to be a good defender, as their defense was awful last season, and he contributed to the cause rather than helping it. And now his value on the free agent market is suffering for it.

According to NBA Insider Marc Stein (subscription required), Wood has "only generated interest at the league minimum to this point." He went from getting traded for a first-round pick and multiple players to not being offered more than a veteran's minimum contract.

That is a steep decline for a player of Wood's caliber, and the Mavs made a mistake by trading for him. He was on an expiring contract, and Dallas gave up a first-round pick for a big that had played on losing teams throughout his career. First-round picks are a valuable asset, and Dallas practically threw one away.

Something seemed off during his tenure in Dallas, and the coaching staff didn't seem to like to play him, regardless of how good he was playing that day. There have even been rumors that Dallas' coaching staff "never even wanted him." Wood seemed done with Dallas right after the season ended, and I don't think there's any shot he returns to Dallas.

Wood's time in Dallas was a blur, and now his value on the free agent market has hit rock bottom. I don't think anyone expected his value to be this low, and teams are likely souring on him due to his year in Dallas. If he was a free agent last summer, I don't think there's any chance he sings for a veteran's minimum contract.

Stay tuned to see where Wood signs in free agency and if he can land a contract worth more than the veteran's minimum. We'll have you covered with all the news and rumors surrounding the Mavs this offseason, so stay tuned.