Mavs - Rockets trade: what can Christian Wood bring to Luka Doncic’s Mavericks?
After the Dallas side sent a package built around pick 26 in this year’s NBA draft to Houston, a center void was filled. Now we’ll watch and see if it works
Ever since the departure of Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks’ shining light Luka Doncic has been in need for a frontcourt running mate. As the team exited the playoffs earlier in the year, the ambition, therefore, was to fill the void at center. Now, with the acquisition of Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets - in exchange for four players and a draft pick - the Slovenian, the Dallas fans, will be very much hoping that they have done so.
A new Maverick: Wood to join Doncic for 2022 season
The Rockets’ leading scorer and rebounder this past season, with 17.9 points and 10.1 boards per game, 26-year-old Wood really caught the eye. 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.
The aforementioned players that are being used in the trade are likely to fill reserve roles, at best. They are Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown and Marquese Chriss, and there is also the 26th pick in this year’s draft included. 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. It seems to be a deal that works for everyone concerned.
As stated, Wood has been brought in to aid Doncic, and Dallas’ objectives for the new season, with potentially the most dynamic pick-and-roll pair, something their offense is based on. 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.