Christian Wood’s long term fit with the Dallas Mavericks is still unclear, and recent reporting by Chris Haynes suggests teams are inquiring about the big man. His contract is set to expire after this season, and while his individual offensive output has been efficient and effective, it has been a bumpy ride. According to Haynes, “Rival teams have begun monitoring what the Dallas Mavericks intend to do with center Christian Wood.”
Haynes makes sure to include that Wood himself has publicly lobbied for a bigger role throughout the season. The starting job has finally been given to him, but in a sport where ego and personality management is so important, it can be hard to get over initial friction. Jason Kidd also errs on the side of defense often, which is Christian Wood’s biggest flaw and a reason his skillset makes him problematic as the lone big. Although Wood’s extension price is a fair one, there might not be enough common ground between the team and player to justify it for either side.
Haynes also clarifies that the Mavericks have not yet put Wood on the market, but teams believe that will change. While trade-season has just begun, teams are still keeping their cards close to their vest, but this isn’t surprising reporting if you’ve paid attention to the player-team relationship.
The Mavericks incentive is to avoid something that now haunts them: losing a player for nothing. Wood himself was a reclamation project, and a possible outcome is trading one project for another, perhaps someone locked into a longer contract. This is often the case with flawed but talented players in situations that have lowered their value (the Kristaps Porzingiz-Spencer Dinwiddie trade comes to mind). It’s important to remember that trade was done with the future in mind as well. We don’t yet know the team’s outlook on this season, though trade season should clue us in.
Either way, this team had higher expectations for themselves after a conference final appearance and is hovering around .500. It would be surprising if they were quiet at the deadline, and this might be the first of many rumors.