Lakers emerging as frontrunner for Christian Wood
Christian Wood Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks added Christian Wood last year with the intention of pairing him up with Luka Doncic.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason – Wood just couldn’t find his rhythm in Dallas. Head coach Jason Kidd’s bizarre hatred of him didn’t help.

Because of how the 2022-23 season went, Wood and the Mavs decided to go their separate ways.

There was some expectation that Wood would be able to get a nice new deal from someone else this summer, but thus far that hasn’t materialized. The market for him has been very, very dry.

This week, NBA insider Jake Fischer provided some insight into what the future may hold for Wood.

“To be honest, I haven’t heard a thing about him since earlier in the week,” Fischer said.

“The last thing I heard was that there was some [Los Angeles] Lakers minimum interest. I have not heard about the minimum. I’d be surprised. I’m a big Christian Wood fan…”

“I think he’s a bit misunderstood. But I also don’t think there is an NBA front office out there that wants to pay more than the minimum right now. I would be surprised, I really would.”

Wood is obviously a huge defensive liability, but offensively he is pretty skilled. It’s shocking that he would only be able to command a veteran’s minimum given his talent level.

Last season Wood averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks per outing. As a starter for the Mavericks, he averaged 20.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, and 2.3 assists per game.

Is there really no team in the league that can use those kinds of numbers for something more than the minimum?

At one point, three teams expressed legit interest in Wood.

It’s unclear what made that interest dry up in recent weeks.

One way or another, Wood will be playing somewhere come the beginning of the 2023-24 season. Will the Lakers be able to take advantage of the soft market for him and ultimately sign him to a favorable deal? Time will tell.

This article first appeared on Game 7 and was syndicated with permission.

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