The Los Angeles Lakers finally filled the 14th spot on the roster as the team is signing big man Christian Wood to a two-year contract. Los Angeles was in need of a stretch-five for quite some time and Wood always felt like the most obvious signing.
Fans have been extremely hyped for Wood’s arrival in Los Angeles, even if there are some concerning signs that are getting overlooked by overly optimistic fans. At the very least, Wood was the most talented option available for the Lake Show.
Fans aren’t alone in over-hyping Wood. In a recent appearance on Fox Sports ‘Undisputed’, former NFL cornerback Richard Sherman compared the acquisition of Wood to when the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol in 2008. We wish we were kidding.
"“Pau Gasol, a Lakers great, jersey just went in the rafters, during his Lakers career averaged 18 (points) and nine (rebounds), or 18 and 10. This boy coming in is averaging 18 and nine over the last three years. 38% shooting from three. I feel like he is going to be a great asset. I don’t understand how (the Lakers) got him for this price. That is the question mark. I am trying to figure out why he was sitting there so late.”"
Richard Sherman’s Pau Gasol-Christian Wood comparison should make Lakers fans cringe
Look, I get that it is easy to get excited about a new player, especially when you are just looking at the box scores and what someone is averaging every night. But even the most optimistic Lakers fans should be disgusted at comparing one of the greatest Lakers of all time to a role player who just signed for the veteran minimum.
This is a classic case of stats not always equating to actual value on the basketball court. Gasol didn’t just average 18 points and 10 rebounds. He did so when he was not the primary scorer and also added other elements of his game that were extremely valuable.
Wood has averaged these numbers mostly as the primary scorer on a bad team in garbage time. Not to mention that he does not add the extracurriculars that Gasol had that made him special. To try and suggest Wood is like Gasol is like saying that Anthony Harris is like Sherman because he had one season with six interceptions.
The Lakers hype machine is getting out of control with this signing. In reality, there is no guarantee that Wood is going to even last an entire season in LA. There is a reason why he was available in September for this price, regardless if Sherman and Co. can figure it out or not.
Sure, the box score numbers look the same if you squint at them. But anyone who has actually watched Wood play knows that he comes nowhere close to being the player that Gasol was for the purple and gold.