Boston Celtics reporter Jay King of The Athletic was not impressed by the Los Angeles Lakers’ signing of big man Christian Wood — whipping out the snark to criticize the potential locker room fallout that could occur from signing the mercurial forward.
“Nothing could possibly go wrong with promising Christian Wood a big role,” King prefaced before saying, “Nothing.”
Of course, Wood was able to be signed for so cheap this late in the offseason for a reason. Wood started just 17 games for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2022-23 season and was unhappy with his role. Mavs head coach Jason Kidd didn’t trust Wood in the lineup due to his notoriously porous defense, but Wood felt his offensive game warranted a substantial role in Dallas. He never got it, despite playing alongside two talented distributors in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Unfortunately, Wood was a casualty of a team that was so disastrous it tanked the final four games by sitting Doncic and Irving; all to avoid an NBA Play-in spot despite being a half-game out of the No. 10 seed.
Christian Wood would be best in a reserve role with the Lakers to avoid fulfilling Boston Celtics reporter’s prophecy
King is sold on Wood being toxic to the Lakers in a big role, and in truth, Los Angeles’ roster doesn’t lend to the biggest role for their newest signee considering much of their strongest depth is at the forward spots. LeBron James, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish, and Anthony Davis all need minutes at the 3 and the 4, and Jaxson Hayes will vie for minutes at the 5.
Wood’s defensive woes don’t make him a great fit on that side of the floor with the aging James and the oft-injured Davis, but on nights neither are playing, he could likely be a featured option on offense.
Those nights won’t be all the time, so Wood ought to accept his role and not become an enemy of the “king.”