Christian Wood, Lakers Agree to 2-Year Contract in NBA Free Agency

Christian Wood, Lakers Agree to 2-Year Contract in NBA Free Agency
Mike Chiari@@mikechiariTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 6, 2023

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 22:  Christian Wood #35 of the Dallas Mavericks looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors on March 22, 2023 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

Forward Christian Wood agreed to a 2-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wood later confirmed the deal on his Twitter account:

35 @Chriswood_5

It’s always been my dream to be a laker 💜💛

Bobby Marks of ESPN had the full breakdown of Wood’s deal:

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

23-24: $2,709,849

24-25: $3,036,040 (P)

Wood can reestablish himself with a strong Laker team and enter free agency once again next offseason.

Depth of bigs include: Anthony Davis, Jaxson Hayes, Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura and now Wood https://t.co/yKp9Fewcfh

The 27-year-old was acquired by the Dallas Mavericks from the Houston Rockets prior to the 2022-23 season in exchange for Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, Boban Marjanović and Wendell Moore Jr.

The apparent hope for Dallas’ perspective was that Wood would be able to serve as a second star alongside Luka Dončić in the wake of guard Jalen Brunson leaving the Mavs to sign with the New York Knicks in free agency.

While Wood didn’t put up superstar-caliber numbers, nor produce at quite the same level he did during his two previous seasons in Houston, he was still a key player for the Mavs.

Appearing in 67 games, Wood averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.6 three-pointers made and 1.1 blocks.

During his first three NBA seasons, Wood bounced around between multiple teams, playing bit roles for the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans.

It wasn’t until the 2019-20 season when the UNLV product landed with the Detroit Pistons that he began to emerge as a major contributor.

Starting 12 of the 62 games he appeared in for the Pistons that season, Wood averaged 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds.

He was able to parlay that into a sign-and-trade with the Rockets, and proceeded to have the two best statistical seasons of his career, averaging 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 109 games with the Rockets.

In signing with the Lakers, Wood will perhaps look to return closer to his Houston level of production and enjoy a longer tenure than he did at any of his previous NBA stops.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks will continue to reshape their roster around Dončić in hopes of eventually putting together a group capable of going to the NBA Finals.

After reaching the Western Conference Finals last season, the Lakers have arguably built an even better team entering the 2023-24 campaign.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis are back as the core stars, while Wood adds some much-needed versatility in the frontcourt and stands as one of L.A.’s top additions along with Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish.

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