Rockets-Mavericks Trade for Christian Wood is a Win-Win

The Dallas Mavericks started the offseason early with the acquisition of big man Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets on Thursday. Wasting no time, the Mavericks and Rockets struck a deal before the NBA season officially ended. Another example of how dedicated owner Mark Cuban is to get his team over the hump.

Following their outing in the Western Conference Finals, which they lost to the Golden State Warriors in five games, it was clear the Mavericks needed to get superstar Luka Doncic some help. The acquisition of Wood is undoubtedly a great starting point.

In the past two seasons, the young center has emerged as one of the best in the league, starting with a 2020-21 season that saw Wood average 17.9 points, 2.3 assists, and 10.1 rebounds per game while shooting 39% from three-point range. Following his breakout year, the UNLV product took another leap on the court during the past season, in which he put up 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. He shot over 50% from the floor in both seasons, as Wood is expected to provide another floor spacer in the Mavericks lineup to make life easier on Doncic.

Reports suggest that the Houston Rockets were looking to get off the final year of the 3-year, 41-million dollar contract Woods signed when he was acquired through a sign-and-trade in 2020 with the Detroit Pistons. The idea of a first-round pick made this trade even more ideal for the Rockets.

Houston wants to free up more playing time for 19-year-old Alperen Sengün. The Turkish center just finished his rookie year with the team, averaging 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. With signs of a promising future, Houston’s front office felt it was in the franchise’s best interest to go younger and invest in Sengün’s development.

The Rockets hold the third overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and have their eyes on talents such as Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, and Jabari Smith. Going young and building a core around former #2 overall pick Jalen Green was too good to pass up.

As the Mavericks look to improve their team’s title contender status, this trade allows them to put out a potential starting five of Doncic, Wood,  Jalen Brunson (if re-signed),  Reggie Bullock, and Dorian Finney-Smith.

This lineup could be dangerous heading into next season, especially with Spencer Dinwiddie and Tim Hardaway Jr. coming off the bench. The Kristaps Porzingis era in Dallas may have been a failure, but there is a new young duo in the Lonestar state as the Mavericks look to bounce back and make it to the big stage next year, the NBA Finals.