Report: Christian Wood to play ‘considerable’ role for Lakers this season

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers big man Christian Wood is expected to have a key role with the team in the 2023-24 season, according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.

“Despite signing a veteran’s minimum contract, Wood is expected to have a considerable role for the Lakers off the bench, flanking Anthony Davis in two-big lineups and helping hold down the paint when Davis rests,” Buha wrote.

Wood projects as a low-risk, high-reward addition for the Lakers that should give the team several options in the frontcourt. Prior to signing Wood, the Lakers already had a formidable frontcourt group that featured Davis, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaxson Hayes.

After playing mainly a bench role for the Dallas Mavericks last season (Wood started just 17 of the 67 games he played in for the Mavericks), the veteran should be able to slide in as a solid fit in Los Angeles.

Wood has proven that he can score the ball at a high rate in recent seasons, averaging 16.6 points per game for the Mavericks in the 2022-23 campaign. Prior to that, he averaged 17.9 points per game for the Houston Rockets in the 2021-22 season and 21.0 points per game in 41 contests in the 2020-21 campaign (also for the Rockets).

Last season, Wood shot 51.5 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc. If he can continue to stretch the floor at that rate, the Lakers won’t have to worry too much about spacing issues if he shares the floor with Davis.

It’s clear the Lakers are doing everything they can to build a deep roster and make a run at the NBA Finals in the 2023-24 season. Los Angeles made the Western Conference Finals last season, but a player like Wood could help take the Lakers over the top.

Wood has played for several teams during his NBA career, including the Mavericks, Rockets, Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers.

He’s likely hoping to revitalize his career in Los Angeles and get a chance to land a bigger deal in the future. Wood has a two-year deal with the Lakers, but the second season is a player option. He could opt out of the deal following the 2023-24 season to test free agency.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.