The Dallas Mavericks are 7-3 in their last 10 games and Christian Wood has been pivotal in the team’s resurgence.
Thanks in large part to his quality play as of late, the Mavs are now fourth in the West despite an extremely slow start to their 2022-23 campaign.
Despite Wood balling out as of late, there is a better-than-decent chance that Dallas will need to deal him ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline.
Wood is eligible for a hefty contract extension and pay increase, but the Mavericks don’t seem to want to commit to him long-term. According to ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon, they want to give him something in the two-year, $36 million range.
If Wood were to simply hit free agency, he would likely command much more money on a longer deal.
As noted by NBA insider Marc Stein, if Wood and the Mavs cannot come to an agreement, the team will explore trading him.
Should all parties involved proceed down that path, three intriguing trade suitors have presented themselves for Wood’s services.
The first one is the Atlanta Hawks. It is something of an open secret at this point that the front office is desperately trying to get rid of John Collins. It is worth remembering, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported back in mid-December that Dallas is a candidate for Collins. Swapping him for Wood would make a lot of sense.
If not Atlanta, the Los Angeles Lakers are also an option.
During a recent appearance on Chris Mannix’s podcast, NBA insider Chris Beck suggested that L.A. makes a lot of sense for Wood.
Essentially Beck argued that if L.A. can get Wood for just one of their two remaining first round draft picks in this decade, he would provide them with some legit firepower this year. Plus, at just 27 years old, he could be a good organizational building block going forward.
Finally, the Boston Celtics are worth keeping an eye on. Robert Williams III is a talented big man, but he is injured a lot. Shoring up the front court would make sense for that reason alone if you’re Boston, but Wood also brings offensive skills to the table that Williams simply does not.
Wood is averaging 18.0 points per game this year, but that number is misleading. He has faced an up-and-down minutes situation because Mavs head coach, Jason Kidd, hates him for some weird reason.
Over the past nine games, though, Wood has put up at least 20 points on six separate occasions and crossed the 30-point plateau mark once. Given some consistent playing time, he could really shine for Boston.
Presumably, if the Mavericks get to the point where dealing Wood is an option, the Celtics could likely get him for Derrick White and spare parts.
Bronny has 9 schools to choose from. https://t.co/cGq5M2pFzj
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 10, 2023
The NBA Trade Deadline is rapidly approaching. Decisions will need to be made quickly by everyone involved on whether Wood will remain a Maverick.
At the moment, it’s looking like a 50-50 situation.
Where will Wood be playing come this time next year? An answer one way or the other should emerge soon enough.
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.