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Report: Rival NBA execs think Rockets will explore Christian Wood trades

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Christian Wood was Houston’s leading scorer and rebounder last season, and with one season left on his current contract, he said earlier this week that he’s open to extension talks with the Rockets this offseason.

But does the franchise feel the same way? Consider that Houston already has two young big men drafted in the 2021 first round in Alperen Sengun and Usman Garuba, and most mock drafts in 2022 have them picking Duke forward Paolo Banchero at No. 3 overall. Frontcourt minutes will be at a premium for the Rockets in 2022-23 and beyond, and there’s still Jae’Sean Tate and KJ Martin to consider, as well.

That could be why, according to HoopsHype’s national NBA insider Michael Scotto, the Rockets and general manager Rafael Stone are expected to gauge Wood’s trade market this offseason. He writes:

Banchero’s expected arrival could have a huge impact on the future of Christian Wood, who’s entering the final year of his contract at $14.3 million. Rival executives who’ve spoken with HoopsHype expect the Rockets to gauge the trade market on Wood’s value this summer. Houston needs to decide if Wood, who turns 27 in September, is going to be a long-term member of the core or be traded for future assets that may align better with Jalen Green and potentially Banchero.

Ultimately, when it comes to Wood, expect the Rockets to explore both tracks this offseason. It makes sense for them to try and learn both trade options as well as what a potential contract extension might look like, and then make the determination on which path is most beneficial. It’s certainly possible that the draft choice at No. 3 could play a role, as well.

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