The Los Angeles Lakers have put together one of the best offseasons in the NBA thus far. After making it to the Western Conference Finals last season, the Lake Show is rolling into the 2023-24 season with an even better squad.
The team building is not yet finished, though. Rob Pelinka confirmed that the team is actively seeking another center in free agency. One name that has been tied to the Lakers during this search is Christian Wood.
Wood never seemed like a viable target for the Lake Show but his lackluster market has made him a potential minimum signing for the team. After all, the Lakers have been able to buy low on players with no market and turn them into legitimate assets, just look at Malik Monk.
While Wood is a big name and his averages might be very enticing, Lakers fans should hold their excitement about Wood coming to LA. Despite his ability to stretch the floor, which is what this team needs out of another five, Wood is not the guy for the Lakers.
Christian Wood is never going to work for the Lakers.
Wood is the classic good stats, bad team guy. If you just look at the box score you would think that he is a very impactful player that helps his team win. But that is not the case at all. His individual success not only doesn’t help his team win games but actually hurts his team.
Sure, his averages of 18.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game look great. His 38.1% three-point percentage is also very positive. What those numbers do not encapsulate is the fact that he is a defensive liability and he puts up empty stats with a high usage rate.
Wood has a career usage rate of 24.4%. He is never going to be able to have that high of a usage rate with the Lakers as he is going to be the third center option. Is Wood going to be fine with that? Not at all. The Houston Rockets suspended him for poor behavior after he refused to sub into a game because he started on the bench. Right. That is the guy the Lakers need.
There is a reason why Wood has bounced around from team to team despite putting up decent numbers on paper. There is a reason why Wood is even a veteran minimum target to begin with for the Lake Show.
Granted, the stakes are low with a veteran minimum signing but after the Russell Westbrook headache last season, the last thing the Lakers need is another locker-room distraction.