The Dallas Mavericks struck a shocking deal to acquire Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets ahead of the NBA Finals. General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Nico Harrison wasted no time filling the team’s biggest playoff hole, and the deal created some flexibility for the Dallas on their way out of the season as the Mavis traded four players who were outside the 2022 playoffs and first round. Choosing Houston to land on Wood.
The deal set Dallas to acquire JaVale McGee in free agency. The Mavericks also returned to the draft to pick Jaden Hardy in the second round, bringing back Theo Benson. The loss of Jalen Bronson hurt free agency, but the front office improved their roster and it’s not over yet. Mavs have an open place on the list of candidates to fill in advance of boot camp. They are looking for another trade but may have to settle with a free agent.
Five ESPN experts were asked who they thought was the most influential under the radar movement, and Om Youngmisuk named the lumber trade. Here’s a look at what he had to say, and why the move might be a game-changer for Dallas.
Youngmisuk noted that Wood is giving Dallas another top scorer and a big man separating the ground, which he believes are two things the team was missing in the postseason. He also pointed to McGee’s signature to add some needed protection to the rims.
The Mavericks went from playing Dwight Powell and Maxi Clipper in the five in postseason to using McGee Wood. It’s a significant upgrade that should allow Kleber to play a more comfortable role at 20-25 minutes per game. If Wood can fill Bronson’s record and score more than 40 percent of three in the postseason, it will be impossible to stop the Mavericks offense.
Christian Wood has all the talent, but will he maintain his abilities and play for the Dallas Mavericks? Many are quick to dismiss his stats as a good player on a bad team. Could Wood prove them wrong and have the most impactful off-season signature under the radar? Stay in touch to find out.