Christian Wood exercises player option, will remain with the Lakers

One of the problems the Los Angeles Lakers had down the stretch of this season and in the playoffs was a lack of depth, especially in the frontcourt. Forward Jarred Vanderbilt, a key reserve dating back to midway last season, suffered a midfoot sprain in early February and never returned. His defense, rebounding and overall energy could’ve greatly helped in the first round of the playoffs.

But overall, the Lakers’ offense was probably a bigger problem than their defense in that playoff series versus the Denver Nuggets. Their bench gave them next to nothing offensively, and their offense dried up in the second half of each of the series’ five games.

This is where Christian Wood could’ve helped. The backup big man went on the shelf in February because of a knee ailment, and although he became available for Game 4 and Game 5, he didn’t get onto the court.

He tweeted a few days ago that he “loved” his “first year” with L.A. Indeed, the 2023-24 campaign was his first year with the Lakers, as he exercised his player option for next season in order to remain with the team.

Wood, who was born in Long Beach, Calif., was mostly a disappointment this season. His per-36 scoring average and shooting efficiency dropped compared to recent seasons, but his rebounding helped the Lakers, and perhaps sticking around will result in a boost in his offensive production.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire