Christian Wood was the last addition to the Los Angeles Lakers as he was signed on a two-year veteran minimum deal to fill out the 14th roster spot on the team. At the time, the Wood signing was highly touted by fans even though there were legitimate concerns about his game.
Numbers-wise, Wood has not lived up to the hype. Through 16 games Wood is averaging 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game. He is shooting 45.8% from the floor and 31.6% from beyond the arc. That is a big drop off from the numbers he was producing prior to coming to LA.
But as ironic as it sounds, that is a good thing for the Lake Show. Los Angeles did not need the high usage rate version of Wood to show up as that version of Wood leads to losing basketball. The team needed someone who was willing to fit into his role without a fuss. That is exactly what Wood has done and his latest comments about his role, via Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, prove that.
"Maybe if I had five points, five rebounds and was a plus-15, I think that’s a great night for me,” Wood said Wednesday. “That would be impacting winning. I’m not putting up 20-and-10s, 30s-and-20s and all this other stuff anymore. I mean, I can when given the opportunity. But this year, I think it’s just more about doing the little things to help out the team."
Christian Wood proves that the Lakers changed him (for the better)
Casual fans who saw Wood's points per game numbers and three-point percentage over the last three years are probably upset with what he has produced thus far. But in all reality, what the Lakers are getting from Wood is exactly what the team needs to get.
While Wood definitely has talent, it is indicative of the team as a whole if he is playing 30 minutes a night and is one of the main scoring options. Wood should never be in that situation and if he is, that means the team around him is not that talented.
That was the entire concern around signing him in the first place. Wood has been on several bad teams where he could be a top option. That was never going to be the case in LA so the most important thing was how he responded to the role change.
And if we are taking his comments at face value then we have to say that he has taken the role change on the chin. This is a guy who wants to commit to winning basketball and making it as far as possible as a team, his own numbers be damned.
Those are the kind of players that contending teams want off the bench, not players who are chasing numbers and chasing their next contract. Just based on this comment alone, it feels like Wood is ultimately going to work out and be a good investment for the purple and gold.