The Mavericks traded their supposed second star next to Luka Doncic and still made a run to the 2022 Western Conference finals with a relatively thin supporting cast.
Now, Dallas has a new intriguing big to pair with Doncic – Christian Wood, who’s coming in a trade with the Rockets.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Sources: The Mavericks are sending Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss and the No. 26 pick to the Rockets for Christian Wood. https://t.co/fbxxAL7OGu
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 16, 2022
Wood can run both pick-and-rolls/finish lobs and pick-and-pops/shoot 3s with Doncic. That’s a fun fit. At just 26, Wood could develop chemistry with Doncic long-term if staying beyond his expiring contract.
As Dallas tries to make the next step, there will be more pressure on Wood defensively. Though not reliably fundamentally sound on that end, Wood has shown ability as a defensive playmaker.
Even after drafting four first-rounders last year, Houston now has three first-rounders this year (Nos. 3, 17 and 26). The No. 3 pick will likely be a big, either Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero. With Alperen Sengun showing promise as a rookie last season, the Rockets have other options at center. Plus, Wood is a little old for their timeline.
Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown and Trey Burke are older than Wood. Presumably, they and Marquese Chriss – all on expiring contracts – were primarily included primarily for salary-matching. Houston – which has kept some veterans through this rebuild – might like Chriss or another one of this group. Marjanovic could be good in the locker room. But the draft pick is the main prize.