NBA Free Agency Rumors: Lakers Have Maintained Interest In Christian Wood
Christian Wood, Lakers
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers locked down superstar big man Anthony Davis with a three-year contract extension over the weekend, ensuring he remains with the organization through 2028. But the team still has a roster opening with many expecting that spot to go to free agent big man Christian Wood.

The Lakers have made clear their desire to add another big man to the roster and Wood is undoubtedly the most talented remaining on the open market. His shooting ability would add much-needed spacing on the roster and he has shown the ability to rebound and even protect the rim at times. Not to mention the fact that Davis still does not prefer to play center full-time and Wood would help with that to some degree.

And even after locking down Davis, the Lakers’ interest in Wood reportedly remains as according to NBA reporter Marc Stein, L.A. would still like to bring the big man in but are not interested in a potential sign-and-trad with the Dallas Mavericks:

The Lakers, after swiftly coming to terms with Anthony Davis on a three-year contract extension worth a projected $186 million, have maintained a level of interest in signing free agent big man Christian Wood, league sources say.

The Lakers, though, remain limited in offering Wood anything beyond the league’s veteran minimum. As I reported here last month, Dallas remains open to facilitating a sign-and-trade for Wood if the Mavericks can acquire a player they like in the exchange, but neither the Lakers nor the Miami Heat are considered potential sign-and-trade destinations.

For starters: Miami, while cited in the past as a team with interest in Wood, is already nearly $9 million over the first tax apron for next season and is thus precluded from acquiring any player via sign-and-trade. Any sign-and-trade, furthermore, would have to feature a three-year contract for Wood with at least one season guaranteed.

The Lakers not being interested in a sign-and-trade makes sense since, as Stein noted, that would require a three-year deal for Wood. It would also require the Lakers to give up something in return, which is something the franchise simply doesn’t have to do.

Wood and his camp are likely holding out for something above the minimum and while his talent is deserving, his apparent attitude issues have hurt his market. Even still, his skillset could make him worth the risk if he can fit in.

Internal optimism within Lakers that they could make it work with Christian Wood

And the Lakers reportedly believe that they could fit Wood within this structure and system. Recent reports state that there’s ‘internal optimism’ within the organization that they could make it work.

With head coach Darvin Ham’s ability to connect with players and LeBron James having a history of getting guys to fit in, the Lakers undoubtedly have some things in place that could allow them to bring Wood in and for him to thrive without causing a major issue.

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