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Christian Wood

Carmen Mandato/Associated Press

Christian Wood Has Been Traded To The Dallas Mavericks

Christian Wood
Carmen Mandato/Associated Press

Christian Wood Is On The Move To Dallas

Christian Wood has been traded, but will still be playing in the Lone Star State. The Rockets sent the big man to the Dallas Mavericks for a sizeable package. Woj reported that the return includes Trey Burke, Boban Marjanovic, Marquese Chriss, Sterling Brown, and the 26th pick in this year’s draft. It is certainly a move that makes sense for both player and team. Wood was the best player on a Rockets team that is years away from contending. Meanwhile, the Mavs were a team carried hard by Luka Doncic.

Dallas Pushes Their Chips Further

It’s abundantly clear that the Mavericks want to build upon the 2022 postseason rather than letting this window pass them by. Luka Doncic was his usual magical self against the likes of the Jazz, Suns, and Warriors. Despite his defensive shortcomings being highlighted, the Slovenian superstar still made a very strong case as to why he should be considered the future of the NBA. The next step was to obviously give him help, and C-Wood is a good start. The former UNLV big-man evolved into a legitimate scoring option during his time in Houston. He excels as a small-ball center and showcased this in 2021-2022 with 18 PPG, 10 RPG, 2 APG, and a block while averaging a career-high 39% from three on 5 attempts per game.

Mark Cuban could have gone for a more flashy or high-profile player. But they didn’t for a good reason. Assuming Jalen Brunson gets re-signed, 4 primary scorers in Luka, Wood, Brunson, and Dinwiddie look really good. 3 and D wings in Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber are awesome. Wood has shown constant improvement over recent years and could even blossom into a consistent 20 PPG scorer with Luka dishing him the rock. Will they be able to return to the Western Conference Finals or beyond in 2023? It will be interesting to watch.

The Rockets Take Another Step In Their Rebuild

Christian Wood is 26. Despite feeling young on paper, he is approaching his prime. 26 is too old for the trajectory this Houston team is currently on. Their offseason plans definitely allowed for a trade like this to happen. This return feels like a pennies-on-the-dollar value, but it’s definitely not a total loss. Trey Burke is an experienced scorer who could teach the young backcourt a thing or two. The Rockets get a second chance at figuring out how to get the best out of Marquese Chriss. Boban is, well, Boban. As well, they get a pick at the end of the first round to go with their #3 overall selection.

It also makes sense considering the Rockets will also end up with one of Paolo, Chet, or Jabari Smith. Through rose-colored glasses, one could see this as a case of addition by subtraction. Starting frontcourt minutes were already contentious with Wood and rookie standout Alperen Sengun in the fold. Having to make Wood give up touches to a developing rookie on a losing team would probably get increasingly difficult. Instead, their attention can fully go to the young guns and collecting assets while Wood gets to contribute to a definite playoff squad. Sounds like a win-win here.

I personally see Dallas as the winner of this trade, but simply because they got the best player in the deal. Both teams have a perfectly acceptable rationale as to why they did this. At the end of the day, they also got what they wanted out of this deal. Dallas gets help for Luka at a pretty reasonable cost while Houston gets more assets as they embrace a rebuild.

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