Christian Wood signing just got even better for the Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers, Christian Wood. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers, Christian Wood. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers searched for a center option late into the offseason before signing Christian Wood in September. Their front office was rumored to be deciding (subscription required) between C-Wood and Bismack Biyombo, and Wood’s fit and willingness to accept a veteran minimum deal won out.

Wood has been fantastic in purple and gold. He is shooting 57.7 percent from the field and complementing Anthony Davis beautifully. The pairing is dynamic on both ends of the floor, and they help cover the others weaknesses.

It is still early, but the Lakers have zero regrets about choosing Wood so far. The deal got even better on Thursday morning when Shams Charania reported the details of Bismack Biyombo’s new contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Bismack Biyombo signing for nearly twice as much makes Christian Wood signing even better for Lakers

The Grizzlies desperately need a center after Steven Adams underwent season-ending knee surgery. Biyombo was the best player available, but it was shocking to see him land a $5 million contract even if it is not fully-guaranteed.

Biyombo is in his 13th NBA season, so his minimum salary is $3.1 million. The Lakers still had $1.9 million of their mid-level exception remaining after agreeing to pay Gabe Vincent $10.5 million this season, instead of the full $12.4 million. They could have signed Biyombo to the same deal, but they chose Wood for nearly half the cost.

Christian Wood is a superior fit too. Anthony Davis does not want to play the five, but his best defensive position is in the middle. He is an elite rebounder and rim protector. Christian Wood struggles on that end and allows Davis to thrive in his best role. Biyombo would have been strictly a five in LA and would have forced AD to often guard on the perimeter.

Wood can space the floor and operate outside the paint on offense, which gives the Lakers a more dynamic attack. The 28-year-old has his flaws, but he has been the perfect minimum bench signing for the Lakers in the early going.

The Lakers still have that $1.9 million to use when they fill their 15th roster spot. They could do it on a current free agent or wait and explore the buyout market after the calendar flips to 2024.

Signing Christian Wood for the veteran minimum was a fantastic move by the Los Angeles Lakers that continues to look better. C-Wood was excited to join the franchise and seems to be thriving in his role. Credit to Rob Pelinka and the team’s brass for knocking this one out of the park.