NBA Trade Degrees – What Christian Wood’s Deal Means for the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets

How much will Christian Wood help strengthen the Dallas Mavericks after his surprise trip to the Western Conference Finals?

Even three weeks after their season ended with a 4-1 loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Mavericks agreed to a fancy deal that adds a very productive big man who has yet to get a chance to translate his defining skills into winning. environment. (Wood has yet to start a game for a team that finished 33-49.)

At $14.8 million in 2022-23, the final season of his contract, Wood is a good value for the upcoming season. However, trading four players for one would add to Dallas’s luxury tax bill, which would skyrocket if the Mavericks could re-sign starting point guard Galen Bronson as an unrestricted free agent.

How fit is Wood in Dallas as the Mavericks aim to build a sustainable rival around star Luka Doncic? And what’s next for the Houston Rockets after dealing with one of its few veteran players? Let’s analyze the ramifications of this deal, which can only be formally completed after the June 23 NBA draft.


Defectors get:
Christian Wood

Missiles get:
2022 Round 1 (No. 26)
Boban Marjanovic
Marquis Kris
Tree Burke
sterling brown


Dallas Mavericks: B-

Wood’s addition is an interesting reaction to Dallas’ run to the Western Finals.

Presumably, the Mavericks wanted to add another big man capable of extending the earth. They had the biggest hit after the season with Maxi Kleber or even Davis Bertans in the middle rather than starter Dwight Powell, who didn’t make a triple indicator in the postseason.

Like Clipper, Wood is capable of playing an increasingly important role in the modern NBA: playing the power forward during the regular season rather than slipping into the playoffs as teams scale back. Wood’s 3secs ability (he scored 39% last season in 5.8 solid attempts per 36 minutes, roughly 6.3 attempts for Clipper) and provides a modest amount of frame protection, giving Dallas coach Jason Kidd the flexibility to play with any of his options. The other front court of the team.

The question is whether Wood can be defensively good enough to excel anywhere. It can be stretched by a smaller force and is faster forward on the circumference and is an below average rim protector. Over the past three seasons, opponents have made 63% of their attempts in the restricted area with Wood as a defender, according to the second spectrum tracker, putting him in the bottom third of the big men who have defended at least 500 of those shots.

To be fair with Wood, we’ve never seen him in a defensive culture like the one the Mavericks enjoyed in the Kid’s first season as a coach. The only time in Wood’s career he played for a supplement team, the greater part of the 2018-19 with the Milwaukee Bucks, he played just 62 minutes as a deep reserve before being conceded late in the season.

A year later, Wood emerged as an effective starter in the brief period between the time the Detroit Pistons traded Andre Drummond and when their season ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Wood scored 32 points in the 14-for-18 shooting on March 11, 2020, then reportedly tested positive for the virus days later.)

An unrestricted free agent after the season, Wood went to the Rockets in signing and trading to join James Harden, only to see Harden ask for a deal. They only played seven matches together, during which Wood averaged 23.0 PPG.

Wood certainly hasn’t been the answer to Houston’s problems over the past two seasons, particularly on the defensive end, and he hasn’t been the problem. This context makes it difficult to assess how he might play against an opponent, especially in the playoffs – in which he hasn’t played before.

Wood’s offensive spell should be comfortable, provided he’s less comfortable playing with the ball in his hands than he did with the Rockets. In some ways, Wood is the front fit Luka Doncic Dallas was hoping Kristaps Porzingis would be: comfortable keeping paint free for Luka’s engines while also keeping the option to punish mismatches low.

In tracking the second Spectrum via ESPN Stats & Information, Karl-Anthony Towns (1.19) at the Minnesota Timberwolves (1.19) averaged points per chance in at least 100 pop plays last season compared to Wood (1.16). This is convenient given that Doncic managed the most plays as the ball player (974) in the NBA during the regular season. Doncic and Kleber were a very strong pairing in pop picks, and Wood could do the same.

The cost to the Mavericks is both a draft and a financial hit. Dallas has made only one first-round pick since Doncic added in 2018 (Josh Green in 2020), a streak that will likely run until at least 2023. This deal can only be completed after the draft because the Mavericks already owe the 2023 first Knicks coach’s reserve protection from the Porzingis trade.

Although Dallas fans will point to the Mavericks’ recent poor record apart from 2018, which resulted in the selection of Doncic and Bronson in the second round, that came under an entirely different front desk and should not be taken as a prediction for future picks. Dallas will have to add some young talent to the mix, which means second-round buying (the Mavericks have also traded their second-rounder) and success with non-determined free agents.

Including first-round salary, the five players Dallas sends in would cost roughly the 2022-23 Wood’s cost. However, the Mavericks still have to fill those places, and doing so even with minimal veteran players would add more than $10 million to the projected tax bill — before Bronson’s re-sign. It’s been a long time since Dallas has been a big spender on luxury taxes, and it will be interesting to see if MAFs Governor Mark Cuban is willing to do so after the team reaches the conference finals.

One potential move to save money, especially in the middle of the season, would be to move from the famous Powell. He is set to earn $11 million in the final season of his contract and may not be needed in the playoffs if the Mavericks can cover the center position with a mix of Bertans and Clipper Wood.


Houston Rockets: B +

This move is more obvious from Houston’s perspective.

At 27 heading into the next season, Wood wasn’t a good fit for the Rockets’ rebuilding plans, and now getting the value in was the way to go. As noted by ESPN’s Tim McMahonDealing with Wood clears the way for Houston to start year two Alperen Sengun alongside power striker No. 3 Overalls – Duke’s Paolo Panchero, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givoni’s latest mock draft.

Part of the missile cost is accepting a number of unwanted contracts. Trey Burke, Sterling Brown, Marquese Chriss and Boban Marjanovic played a combined 99 minutes during the Dallas playoff round and all secured guaranteed contracts for 2022-23, although no money would have impacted Houston’s playing space in 2023. (Burke has an option player, which he would have to practice to be included in this trade. Doing so is a no-brainer; he’ll even benefit from a $247,500 trade bonus according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks).

It’s unclear how many players from this deal will end up on Houston’s 2022-23 roster. The Rockets have 15 players on a guaranteed contract plus striker Jae’Sean Tate, who has a non-guaranteed team option and is sure to return. On top of that, Houston now has three first-round picks (No. 3, No. 17 and No. 26 for the Mavericks), which means four players have to go between now and opening night.

Sure, rockets have more moves in store. Eric Gordon and John Wall are the two remaining veterans on the team’s roster as they grossed over $6 million. Gordon was a good mentor to the team’s young goalkeepers last season but that service could be rewarded with a competitor’s deal. Wall is the buyout candidate heading into the final season of his deal, which pays him $47.4 million, after Houston told him to stay home for the past year.

This is still relatively early in the process of rebuilding the Rockets. If they used division rival Memphis Grizzlies as a template, Houston now has back-to-back lottery picks in Galen Green and this year’s number. 3 picks to match Garen Jackson Jr. Memphis. And Ja Morant.

A major part of the Grizzlies buildup has been adding and nailing additional picks, most notably with Desmond Bane picking 30th overall in 2020. The Rockets can dream of picking Dallas that results in a similar run.

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