Christian Wood Might Come Off Bench For Dallas Mavericks?

Christian Wood, Dallas Mavericks, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Coming into the NBA offseason, the Dallas Mavericks identified the center position as being the one that they most needed to upgrade. While those needs have since shifted, as Jalen Brunson surprisingly departed in free agency to sign with the New York Knicks, the team did significantly upgrade the center spot.

Earlier in the offseason, the Mavericks finalized a trade with the Houston Rockets, acquiring Christian Wood. In exchange for him, Dallas traded Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Marquese Chriss, Trey Burke and the No. 26 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

That is an excellent pick-up for Dallas, as they traded zero players who were part of their rotation in the postseason. Anyone they selected with the first-round pick wouldn’t have the immediate impact that Wood can have as a second scoring option behind Luka Doncic.

However, Wood does have some deficiencies in his game, specifically on the defensive end of the floor. But, Dallas ensured that they covered that as well, as they signed JaVale McGee to a three-year, $17.2 million deal in free agency, using a portion of their mid-level exception to get the deal done.

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With last season’s starter Dwight Powell and his backup Maxi Kleber still on the roster, Jason Kidd will have his hands full when dividing up minutes. Given their skill sets, Wood and Kleber can log some minutes at the power forward spot to alleviate the logjam.

But, power forward is where Dorian Finney-Smith thrived last season, so something’s got to give. With Kidd already committing to McGee as a starter, along with Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie, there is only one starting spot left.

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Is there a chance that the team’s biggest offseason acquisition in Wood isn’t in the starting five? As things currently stand, that is exactly the case, as Reggie Bullock is expected to resume his role in the starting five.

That is as close to the lineup that led the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals in this year’s postseason as they can get. McGee will replace Powell and Dinwiddie will replace Brunson. McGee’s elite rim protection likely gives him the edge in the starting five, but Wood will have plenty of opportunities to produce as he provides Dallas a chance to run the five-out offense which he can take full advantage of with his off-the-dribble skills.

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Dallas’ lineup is going to have a lot of versatility, enabling them to match up against anything their opponent throws at them. While Christian Wood may not start games, there is a chance that he finishes them, which is the most important lineup for a coach to hit on.