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The Rockets Are Reportedly Trading Christian Wood To The Mavericks

With the NBA Draft now eight days away, teams are starting to narrow their focus on how they’ll use the draft to hopefully improve their team. For some, that means targeting prospects, but others that are looking to improve their standing as a championship contender are looking to flip picks for veterans — while others are looking to make room on their cap/tax sheet.

The first deal of the draft season saw JaMychal Green get sent to the Thunder in a relatively minor deal, but the second deal arrived on Wednesday night and saw a more substantial trade get done. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Rockets are sending center Christian Wood to the Mavericks in exchange for the 26th overall pick and three players — Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, and Marquese Chriss.

The Mavs have been in need of more frontcourt help for some time and struggled with their center rotation in the playoffs, as Dwight Powell was rendered fairly ineffective and their best lineups were their small-ball groups. Wood is a capable scorer, averaging 17.9 points per game last year in Houston on 50.1/39.0/62.3 shooting splits, and should help Dallas some on the glass, but it isn’t a cure-all move for Dallas considering Wood isn’t particularly regarded for his defense.

It’s clear they are banking on Jason Kidd’s system continuing to provide enough of a base to keep them competitive on that end and that Wood’s offensive ability will be a major boost for a team that lacked much of a scoring presence in the frontcourt. They also maintain their core (and some flexibility to make other moves) by not having to part ways with any key contributors in the deal, although Boban Marjanovic was a beloved presence in the locker room, while also clearing some roster spots for other additions. This also would seem to take them out of the mix for other centers on the market, most notably Rudy Gobert but also others like Myles Turner.

Houston adds another first round pick for a player with just one year left on his deal who likely didn’t fit their future given the emergence of Alperen Sengun as they continue their rebuild, and one would expect at least a few of the players headed their way will be released or moved elsewhere.