Lakers Rumors: Christian Wood May Prefer Bigger Role With Heat Over L.A.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ roster is mostly set for the 2023-24 season. The Lakers were able to retain their core members while also adding valuable free agents with clearly defined skillsets. After a run to the Western Conference Finals, Los Angeles looks better positioned to contend for a championship.

While the team looks set on paper, they do have a need for at least one more big man for depth behind Anthony Davis. So far, the Lakers have been linked to Christian Wood and reportedly have maintained interest in him during free agency.

Wood is an interesting potential add but the sense is that he prefers the Miami Heat as a landing spot, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic told Lakers Nation’s Trevor Lane:

“That’s my sense. Because again, if it was the Lakers he should be here right now, right? So I think the potential to play in the East and play a big role, I think with Miami they’ve liked two-big lineups and he fits kind of a better version of a Kevin Love where not the greatest defender but a solid rebounder. Stretch big, pick-and-pop guy, can also score inside.

“If you look at the two guys that Miami brought back in Love and and signed in (Thomas) Bryant, stretch bigs who can play theoretically alongside Bam Adebayo. They’ve always liked that archetype with Kelly Olynyk, Meyers Leonard so Christian Wood fits that as a big who can shoot the ball. I think my read is that his role would likely be bigger in Miami if he went there and that to him is a potential opportunity to get a bigger contract next summer.”

Rob Pelinka expressed interest in returning to a two-big lineup in order to replicate the success the 2020 Lakers championship team had, but the initial feeling is that Davis will still end up playing most of his minutes at center. If that’s the case, then Wood would certainly have a bigger role with the Heat who could use his size and shooting next to Adebayo.

It remains to be seen what will happen with Wood’s free agency, but a decision isn’t expected to be made for a while as the rest of the league waits on happens with Damian Lillard and James Harden.

Lakers have internal optimism about Christian Wood’s fit

Wood has changed teams every season for seven years now, a troubling trend that’s affected his value in the market. However, despite any concerns there’s reportedly internal optimism in L.A. that they could make it work with the talented big man.

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