Christian Wood is arguably the best player available on the NBA open market at the moment.
Character and defensive issues notwithstanding, offensively he would provide an instant boost to any squad he joins.
To date, the Los Angeles Lakers have been the team most closely linked to Wood – though a deal between the two sides hasn’t actually materialized.
This week a little clarity on where things between L.A. and Wood stand emerged.
According to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers still have interest in adding Wood.
“Wood, from what I can tell, still seems like the top choice despite the defensive shortcomings and personality issues,” he wrote.
To date, one roadblock has persisted in Los Angeles’ light pursuit of Wood.
“If Wood is waiting for a heftier paycheck than the league minimum that the Lakers can offer, so be it,” Woike continued.
“But if his market is the minimum, and here in early August it sure seems like it is, the Lakers believe they offer the best situation for the talented big man.”
The front office also seems to believe it has a track record of helping guys rehab their reputations and images in a way that will allow them to get paid later.
Kay Adams and Ja’Marr Chase. https://t.co/b8MUrIFDKk
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 8, 2023
“Like they did with Malik Monk two years ago and with Dennis Schroder last season, the Lakers have a track record of taking players on minimum contracts and showcasing them in ways that can lead to raises the following offseason, helping fight off the notion that once you sign a minimum contract, you limit your earning potential,” Woike wrote.
Most importantly, Woike maintains that there is “internal optimism” that L.A. will be able to find a way to integrate Wood into the roster successfully – should the opportunity present itself.
Will Wood ultimately end up on the Lakers when it’s all said and done? Time will tell.