Did Dallas Mavericks make a mistake in trading for Christian Wood?

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Christian Wood
Dallas Mavericks, Christian Wood / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks wasted no time in trading for Christian Wood after being eliminated in the Western Conference Finals last season. They needed an upgrade at the five and an offensive spark, so Dallas agreed to a deal for C-Wood before the Golden State Warriors won the championship.

The Rockets had tried to trade the talented 6’10 big man multiple times, but they could find the right deal until Dallas came along. Houston allowed the Mavs to clear some roster space and grab C-Wood for a first-round pick. Dallas sent four players and the 26th overall pick in the 2022 draft to the Rockets.

Wood has played well in Dallas, but his minutes continue to be limited by his lack of defense. He has been capped at 22.5 minutes per game since the Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving, and the soon-to-be free agent is likely considering his options. Was it a mistake to trade for C-Wood if he leaves in free agency with zero return after just one season?

Dallas Mavericks gave up a first-round pick to acquire Christian Wood

The four players Dallas traded to the Rockets were all outside of the Mavs playoff rotation and only Boban Marjanovic stayed in Houston. Making the trade was effectively swapping a late first-round pick for Wood. Dallas took the chance on the proven veteran with the hopes of improving his defense and making him a Sixth Man of the Year candidate.

The Mavericks were targeting Jaden Hardy with their draft pick, and they ultimately traded two second-round picks to jump back into the draft to take him in the second round. Late first-round picks are always a gamble, but Hardy is already proving that he should have been taken in round one.

Head coach Jason Kidd has had success developing players in his previous stops, and Josh Green has taken a massive leap this season. Would Dallas be better off with a young talent they could develop or package in a trade for another key piece?

They would. The Mavericks tried to trade Christian Wood before the deadline, but they could not find any takers. Dallas wants to be a title contender, so having another young asset to use would be ideal. Wood’s current role is helping make the case that the Mavs made a mistake.