The NBA offseason has slowed down as the free-agent market has run dry with teams already preparing internally for next season. The biggest storyline in the league right now is surrounding Damian Lillard and James Harden’s futures as both superstars may be traded. For once, the Los Angeles Lakers are not involved in these trade rumors.
However, while LA does not have a reasonable way to enter the Lillard/Harden sweepstakes, the team is still going to be impacted by the fallout of the Lillard deal specifically. The Lakers have actually already been helped by the Lillard situation as the prolonged stand-off between Portland and Miami allowed the Lakers to sign one of the steals of the offseason.
The Lillard situation may come back around and help the Lake Show yet again. If a deal is completed between Miami and Portland it could keep the Lakers from making the mistake of signing Christian Wood in free agency. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Wood is interested in a role in Miami that may open up because of a potential Lillard trade (h/t Lakers Nation).
Damian Lillard trade may keep Christian Wood away from the Lakers.
Christian Wood is by far the biggest name still available on the market and the Lakers need a big that can stretch the floor. This may seem like a no-brainer for the Lakers because of the offensive impact that Wood would have.
Only considering his shooting and offensive ability is looking at Wood through rose-colored glasses. That ignores the fact that he is awful defensively and has had issues with previous teams in the past when he did not get the playing time he wanted.
Wood wouldn’t be getting many minutes in Los Angeles and there is a really good chance that he would just end up being a distraction. There is a reason why one notable Lakers player reportedly doesn’t want the team to sign Wood regardless of the circumstance.
But at the end of the day, he is the most talented option available on the market and that alone could convince Rob Pelinka to bring him in as a flier and try it out. Thankfully, the Heat could keep the Lake Show from having the opportunity to make that mistake in the first place.