The Dallas Mavericks pulled off a shocking deal to acquire Christian Wood from the rival Houston Rockets before the NBA Finals were in the books. General manager and president of basketball operations Nico Harrison wasted no time in filling the team’s biggest playoff hole, and the deal created some flexibility for Dallas heading into the offseason as the Mavs traded four players that were outside their playoff rotation and their 2022 first-round pick to Houston to land Wood.
The deal set Dallas up to acquire JaVale McGee in free agency. The Mavericks also traded back into the draft to select Jaden Hardy in the second round, and they brought back Theo Pinson. Losing Jalen Brunson in free agency hurt, but the front office improved their roster and is still not done. The Mavs have an open roster spot to fill before training camp. They are searching for another trade but may have to settle for a free agent.
Five ESPN experts were asked who they thought made the most impactful under-the-radar move, and Ohm Youngmisuk named the Wood trade. Here is a look at what he had to say, and why the move could be game-changing for Dallas.
Dallas Mavericks trade for Christian Wood named most impactful under-the-radar move
Youngmisuk noted that Wood gives Dallas another scorer and a floor-spacing big man, which he believes are two things the team was missing in the postseason. He also mentioned the McGee signing for adding some necessary rim protection.
The Mavericks went from playing Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber at the five in the postseason to using McGee and Wood. It is a significant upgrade that should allow Kleber to play a more comfortable role at 20 to 25 minutes per game. If Wood can fill Brunson's scoring and shoot over 40 percent from three in the postseason, the Mavericks offense will be impossible to stop.
Christian Wood has all the talent, but will he lock in and play to his potential with the Dallas Mavericks? Many are quick to dismiss his stats as a good player on a bad team. Can Wood prove them wrong and be the most impactful under-the-radar signing of the offseason? Stay tuned to find out.