Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Lakers are still really interested in Christian Wood. While there has been no movement whatsoever on the front effectively since the start of free agency, teams remain interested in Wood.
The Lakers have been perhaps chief among them throughout the process. They’ve kept their level of interest ongoing and their open roster spot for him indicates as such.
In his most recent Substack newsletter, longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein revealed the latest update on Wood, which isn’t much but is something.
The Lakers, after swiftly coming to terms with Anthony Davis on a three-year contract extension worth a projected $186 million, have maintained a level of interest in signing free agent big man Christian Wood, league sources say.
The Lakers, though, remain limited in offering Wood anything beyond the league’s veteran minimum. As I reported here last month, Dallas remains open to facilitating a sign-and-trade for Wood if the Mavericks can acquire a player they like in the exchange, but neither the Lakers nor the Miami Heat are considered potential sign-and-trade destinations.
For starters: Miami, while cited in the past as a team with interest in Wood, is already nearly $9 million over the first tax apron for next season and is thus precluded from acquiring any player via sign-and-trade. Any sign-and-trade, furthermore, would have to feature a three-year contract for Wood with at least one season guaranteed.
The Lakers should not have any interest in doing a sign-and-trade for Wood as it doesn’t benefit them in any way. They’re already one of the leading teams for him as things stand. He’s also not someone worth giving up any sort of asset for to sign.
At this point, it feels like Damian Lillard and James Harden have been a complete stop on the offseason until one or both of them are moved. There aren’t many players left that are at a standstill, but it does feel like Wood is waiting for other things to unfold before he makes a decision.
For example, if Miami lands Lillard, maybe he feels differently about the situation and thinks he can impact the Heat and have a bigger role there than he would in Los Angeles. He would hardly be blamed if that’s how it plays out.
Given where we are in free agency, there is no downside to him taking this approach. He’s going to sign a minimum deal regardless at this point, so waiting it out to see if he can get the best deal possible is the right call.
Even if it means that we continue to get these update non-updates for days and weeks to come.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.