NBA front office source delivers reality check about importance of Christian Wood being on ‘best behavior’ with Lakers

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Lakers and big man Christian Wood agreed to terms on a two-year, $5.7 million deal. An NBA front office source recently weighed in on the signing.

“If he’s on his best behavior, it could be a good fit,” the source told ESPN. “If he’s not, well, you cut him.”

Wood, 27, went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft following two seasons playing college basketball at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He had a very forgettable freshman season in college. He played in 30 games during the 2013-14 season but averaged just 4.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 block per game on 41.0 percent shooting from the field.

It was during Wood’s second and final season with UNLV that he established himself as a college basketball standout. He averaged 15.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and a whopping 2.7 blocks per game in 33 appearances during the 2014-15 season (32 starts).

His contributions during his sophomore season didn’t translate to a whole lot of wins for the Rebels, though. They finished the 2014-15 season with an 18-15 record and missed out on the NCAA Tournament.

Wood has played for seven teams — the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans — across his seven seasons in the NBA. He averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game in 67 appearances with the Mavericks during the 2022-23 regular season (17 starts).

One of Wood’s best seasons in the NBA came back in the 2021-22 season when he was a member of the Rockets. He was one of the best players on that iteration of Houston, as he averaged a team-high 17.9 points per game during the regular season as well as 10.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per outing.

Wood also shot the ball with impressive efficiency that season, as he converted 50.1 percent of his shots from the field and 39.0 percent of his 3-point attempts.

With any luck, Wood will fit like a glove in a bench role with the Lakers. After all, he is one of the more talented offensive players at his position in the NBA.

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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.