Christian Wood signs two-year deal with Lakers
Photo via Emil T. Lippe/AP
Christian Wood finally made his free agency decision and signed with the Lakers on a two-year deal. Wood has a player option for the second season.
Wood has been between the Heat and Lakers for months but has chosen to head to LA. The 27-year-old big man is a talented offensive player. Last season, he averaged 17/7/2 for the Mavericks, shooting 51.5% from the floor and 37.6% from three.
Many would expect a player of this offensive caliber to go for much more than a minimum contract. However, Wood struggles on the defensive end of the floor and has yet to find a team he fits well on.
23-24: $2,709,849— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) September 6, 2023
24-25: $3,036,040 (P)
Wood can reestablish himself with a strong Laker team and enter free agency once again next offseason.
Depth of bigs include: Anthony Davis, Jaxson Hayes, Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura and now Wood https://t.co/yKp9Fewcfh
His talent on offense is not in question, and this is a great deal for the Lakers. Getting a player of his caliber for a minimum contract is a low-risk, high-reward move.
For Wood, he signs with a team that is ready to win after making it to the Western Conference Finals last season.
They also have a track record of helping players increase their value in cheap short-term deals before getting paid elsewhere. Malik Monk is one of these beneficiaries, as he had a good season with the LakeShow on a cheap deal before getting paid by the Sacramento Kings.
Lakers rotation with Christian Wood signing— Ben Cooper (@BenCooperNBA) September 6, 2023
PG: D’Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Jalen Hood-Schifino
SG: Austin Reaves, Max Christie
SF: LeBron James, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish, Maxwell Lewis
PF: Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt
C: Anthony Davis, Christian Wood, Jaxson Hayes
Wood should be able to fit with LA. His offense at the center position with his shooting ability compliments star Anthony Davis, who excels as a defensive anchor and low post scorer. The team has also already signed Jaxson Hayes, a more traditional backup center.
The Lakers have a good defense led by a defensive coach in Darvin Ham. Adding an offensive center like Wood gives LA a new element to their roster. Ham has a championship-caliber on his hands, and it will be interesting to see how he handles his rotation.
Wood commented on the signing, saying "It's always been my dream to be a Laker."
LakeShow fans should be excited as general manager Rob Pelinka continues to have a phenomenal offseason.