3 Christian Wood Frontrunners Emerge Amid Mavs Exit

3 Christian Wood Frontrunners Emerge Amid Mavs Exit

Christian Wood’s run with the Dallas Mavericks did not go according to plan.

Almost from the jump, Wood somehow landed in head coach Jason Kidd’s doghouse. From there the pair exchanged words both publicly and privately regarding their misaligned visions for their future together.

By season’s end, Wood’s playing time was reduced significantly.

All of that also culminated in the Mavericks not offering Wood the extension he was looking for during the season.

The big question as it pertains to the versatile – albeit inconsistent – big man now is: where does he go from here?

At the moment, three frontrunners for his services seem to exist.

The first is the Los Angeles Lakers. Wood has obviously been linked to L.A. for years, but the union arguably makes more sense now than at any time prior.

Mo Bamba is on his way out and Wenyen Gabriel has no offensive game to speak of. Wood could slide in seamlessly with this group and really lean into his offensive skillset.

Obviously Wood leaves a ton to be desired defensively, but alongside the version of Anthony Davis that propelled the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals this season, a lot of those weaknesses will seem less glaring.

If not Los Angeles, the Miami Heat also make a ton of sense for Wood. As has become evident throughout the NBA Finals, this team lacks size. Kevin Love is 34 years old and a shell of his former self.

Wood could be a perfect fit in Miami, and given the Heat’s way of squeezing the most of their players, he could learn to be a better defensive presence as well.

Although Miami has been linked to some other big name free agents thus far, Wood might make more sense than any of them.

Finally, don’t sleep on the Phoenix Suns. If Frank Vogel can’t convince Deandre Ayton that he would be well served staying the course, they’re going to need a replacement down low for him.

Frankly, given how pitiful of a defender Ayton became as the year progressed, swapping him out for Wood wouldn’t really be that big of a drop off on that side of the ball. And offensively, he could really shine alongside Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.

Last season, Wood averaged 16.6 points on 52 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc. He also chipped in 7.3 rebounds per outing.

And he did all that in the face of his head coach hating him.

Where will Wood be playing come the beginning of the 2023-24 NBA season? Time will tell.

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Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.
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