Christian Wood enjoyed a breakout season after signing with the Houston Rockets in 2020, becoming one of the league’s rising bigs. While he experienced regression and dealt with issues this past season, the 6-foot-10 forward is clearly on the radar of multiple teams.
Everything came together in Wood’s first season after signing a three-year, $41 million contract. He averaged 21 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, becoming a star in Houston. Unfortunately, an ugly season for the Rockets also saw their star forward run into issues.
- Christian Wood contract: $14.317 million (2022-’23 salary)
Wood was suspended one game for poor behavior. He failed to report for a daily COVID-19 test, forcing a delay of practice. When he later showed disinterest to check into the next game, coach Stephen Silas benched Wood and the forward took issue with it
It was only part of his issues during the 2021-’22 NBA season. Wood’s scoring fell to 17.9 points per contest and he struggled defensively. As the season went on, it became evident that an offseason separation might be necessary for both sides.
According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, multiple NBA teams have expressed interest in acquiring Wood this summer. From the Rockets’ perspective, there is a willingness to deal him before they lose him for nothing in free agency a year from now.
- Christian Wood stats (2021-’22 season): 17.9 ppg, 10.1 RPG, 2.3 apg, .112 WS/48
Playing on a reasonable salary, Wood is an attractive trade target for teams needing an athletic big. While there are some concerns about his consistency and effort level, the talent flashed in the past two seasons shows there is a lot of upside that could be turned into an outstanding player.
With Alperen Sengun already on the roster and Houston expected to draft one of the three best bigs available in the 2022 NBA Draft, trading Wood might be the best move for all parties.