Shortly after their roster took shape for the 2023-24 season in early July, the Los Angeles Lakers realized they needed one more big man in order to round out that roster. The pickings were slim, but there was one intriguing free agent available: Christian Wood.
The Lakers quickly emerged as a potential landing spot for the skilled 6-foot-9 big man. However, for about two months, both sides were seemingly at a standoff, and one sticking point was supposedly the fact that L.A. could only offer him the veteran’s minimum.
The team finally signed him last week, but according to Jovan Buha, Wood was keeping an eye on what was happening with the potential trades of Damian Lillard and James Harden. When nothing materialized by late summer, Wood chose the Purple and Gold.
Via The Athletic:
“Once it was clear Wood might be available for the minimum, he became the Lakers’ top target for their third big spot. Over the past couple of months, Wood had been weighing the fallout of potential Damian Lillard and James Harden trades, including the possibility that he’d find a situation with a greater role and/or a salary above the minimum, according to league sources. But with Lillard still in Portland and Harden still in Philadelphia, it was time for Wood to make a decision. He chose the Lakers.”
One rumor was that Wood would join the Miami Heat if Lillard landed there. They’re a team that badly needs offensive firepower, not to mention size and length in the frontcourt. However, there has been little or no progress in terms of trade negotiations between the Heat and Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard’s current team.
As far as the Philadelphia 76ers are concerned, they found no takers for Harden, and thus Harden is now at odds with the organization and executive Daryl Morey.
But Wood is now a Laker, and if he pans out for them, they will have an embarrassment of riches on the offensive end.