4. Christian Wood
The Lakers signed Wood to a two-year deal worth $5.7 million late in the offseason. The second-year is a player option, but the 6’10 big man is searching for a long-term home. He has played for seven different teams in his first seven NBA seasons and his longest tenure with any organization is two seasons.
Wood is an offense-first big man with a reputation for struggling mightily on the defensive end. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham dispelled those rumors during training camp, but C-Wood has to prove it on the court.
Having a stretch five could do wonders for the Lakers. Wood is a career 37.9 percent 3-point shooter who has shot north of 38 percent over the last four seasons combined. Depending on his role, there should be four to five attempts per game that go in at a high clip.
How will Christian Wood’s playing time evolve throughout the season? He has never played a playoff minute and most of his time has come on rebuilding teams. The Mavericks expected to make the postseason in 2023 but crashed out before Wood’s exit. Can he knock down shots and prove he can contribute to winning basketball? The jury is still out. If C-Wood fails, the 6’10 big man could be running out of NBA chances.