The Mavericks have long needed to get more help around Luka Doncic and they made a trade to do just that, landing Christian Wood from the Rockets.
Watching the Dallas Mavericks in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the outcry from fans was clear: Luka Doncic needs more help for this team to truly contend. Sure, the organization somewhat tried previously with guys like Kristaps Porzingis, but the end result was far from what was desired.
Now, they’re back to trying again early in this offseason.
On Wednesday evening, Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported that the Mavs and Houston Rockets are finalizing a trade that will send big man Christian Wood to Dallas.
In return, the Rockets will get Dallas’ 2022 first-round pick and a bevy of players to help make the salary cap work in the deal.
Wood has emerged over the past two seasons with Houston, averaging 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in 30.8 minutes over 68 games last year. He’s come into his own as a versatile and valuable big man. But with that in mind, let’s look at this deal for both teams and hand out grades to see who won the deal.
Who won the Christian Wood Mavericks-Rockets trade?
26th Pick (2022 NBA Draft)
The Rockets also received Marquese Chriss in the trade.
Dallas Mavericks trade grade: A
Getting Doncic help to help elevate Dallas to new heights was an obvious priority for the organization this offseason, but to do so in this manner makes the move even better.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the emergence of guys like Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber for the Mavericks with their ability to take advantage of the space that Doncic can create and finish at the rim. Wood provides that, but does so not only better and more effectively as a scorer, but also with the ability to create his own shot a bit more and do more with the ball in his hands in general. Furthermore, he’ll be in a contract year, which is always an intense motivator for players.
Beyond that, the Mavs also clear up their roster a bit to make more moves this offseason without the potential of, for lack of a better phrase, cluttering up the depth chart. They parted with players not key to their future and a late-first-round pick. To get Wood in return for that is a massive win for Dallas.
Houston Rockets trade grade: B-
There’s a world in which you could look at what Houston did in this trade and be unhappy. But when you zoom out just a bit at the larger plan for the franchise, it’s hard not to at least look at the trade mildly optimistically.
The Rockets aren’t in any position to compete or contend right now, something that would surely all but end their chances of re-signing Wood next offseason when he becomes a free agent. Thus, they are getting something in return for a player they were going to likely lose in a year regardless. In doing so, though, they also pick up some role players who could potentially show them something in increased roles with this franchise and garner another first-round pick that they can add to their trove of draft assets.
It might not be the prettiest trade for the Rockets, but it’s one that serves their larger purpose and shows some savvy with their long-term outlook in mind.