Christian Wood’s candid text message after Mavericks let him leave in free agency for Lakers

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers inked big man Christian Wood to a two-year, $5.7 million deal back in September.

Part of the reason the veteran was still on the market so deep into the offseason was because the Dallas Mavericks — who Wood spent last season with — acquired power forward Grant Williams in July and signed him to a long-term deal instead of re-signing Wood.

Wood sent a candid text message after the Mavericks let the Lakers sign him.

“After agreeing to the Lakers’ pact, Wood texted Andscape that he was ‘motivated after what Dallas did,'” NBA insider Marc J. Spears wrote.

The Mavericks acquired Wood in a trade with the Houston Rockets in the summer of 2022. The 6-foot-10 big man averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 67 appearances with Dallas during the 2022-23 regular season.

Wood also shot the ball with impressive accuracy from the field and behind the 3-point arc, as he knocked down 51.5 percent of his field-goal attempts and 37.6 percent of his 3-point attempts with the Mavericks a season ago.

While Wood had a productive 2022-23 regular season from an individual standpoint, the Mavericks underperformed as a team. Despite trading for star point guard Kyrie Irving in February, the Mavericks finished the regular season with a subpar 38-44 record and missed out on the playoffs. Dallas’ end to the regular season was particularly rough, as the team went 2-9 over its final 11 games.

Wood has played for seven teams during his seven seasons in the NBA, and he played the best basketball of his pro career during his two-season stint with the Rockets from the 2020-21 season through the 2021-22 season. The 28-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 block per game across 109 total games played with the Rockets.

Given the value of Wood’s deal with the Lakers, there’s a great chance that the contract will age well for the team. Wood was undoubtedly one of the best backup big men in the NBA with Dallas a season ago and projects to be a key member of head coach Darvin Ham’s rotation during the 2023-24 regular season.

Wood has already shown flashes of brilliance with the Lakers during the preseason, as he scored 13 points and made five of his seven shots against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.