The Dallas Mavericks entered this offseason with a need at center, and potentially filled that void by acquiring Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets in exchange for four players and a draft pick.
Wood, 26, was the Rockets’ leading scorer and rebounder this past season with 17.9 points and 10.1 boards per game. He was one of just nine players to average at least 17 points and 10 rebounds, joining the likes of Philadelphia's Joel Embiid, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver.
Heading to Houston in the deal are Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown and Marquese Chriss – all of which figure to fill reserve roles, at best – as well as the 26th pick in this year’s draft. Acquiring those players provides Houston with roster flexibility by trading one big contract for numerous smaller contracts, and gives them three first-round picks this year, adding to their selections at number three and 17.
Adding Wood gives Luka Doncic the frontcourt running-mate he has desired since the departure of Kristaps Porzingis, and he projects as the most dynamic pick-and-roll partner the Slovenian superstar has ever played with, playing in a system heavily focused on pick-and-roll offense.
Wood will be joining his seventh NBA team in his seventh season, but after failing to stick with the 76ers, Hornets, Bucks and Pelicans, he really started to shine in 2019-20 with the Detroit Pistons, leading to a sign-and-trade to the Rockets and a three-year, $41million payday.
In his first season with Houston, he scored a career-best 21 points per game to go with 9.6 rebounds. Wood has also become a capable outside shooter, connecting on 131 3-pointers this season to match his total from the previous two seasons combined.
The Mavericks were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, marking their deepest playoff run of the Doncic era.
Rockets were looking to move Christian Wood to clear playing time for Alperen Sengun and likely the No. 3 overall pick, whether that’s Paolo Banchero or Chet Holmgren. They pounced on chance to acquire a first-round pick (and no long-term salary) in the process.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 16, 2022