The Heat have been one of the more persistent teams in engaging with the Rockets on Christian Wood, sources tell @KellyIkoNBA.— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) January 24, 2022
“But barring a blow-me-away offer, Wood should remain in Houston past the deadline.”
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Christian Wood is a 26-year-old forward who is averaging 17.5 PPG and 10.3 RPG this season. But as Houston looks to manage assets and build for the future, they are listening to offers for the forward. And Miami is one of the teams that is pursuing him.
First, Wood is a stretch big (6’10” and 214 lbs) who could be an ideal candidate to play next to Bam Adebayo — a long-term pairing option that the Heat will eventually want to find. Wood has shot better than 36% from beyond the arc this season. It’s not 47% like PJ Tucker but Wood offers a different skill set offensively that Tucker does not have.
I think you could make an argument that Wood wouldn’t move the needle forward for Miami defensively but as a position defender in the Heat system, he would be fine.
The problem with this entire scenario is circled by what it would cost to acquire Christian Wood during the season. Wood makes $13.6 million this season and has one more season and $14.3 million on his deal. That means to acquire him, the Heat would not only need to match salary but also entice Houston with promising talent and/or picks to give up on Wood. They won’t give him away for free.
Any deal likely would have to include Duncan Robinson.
The Heat simply won’t be parting with Bam, Jimmy, Tyler, or Kyle (Lowry). It’s also unlikely they would trade PJ Tucker after the impact that he has on the team. The only other player on the Heat roster (outside of those players) who isn’t on a minimum deal is Duncan Robinson ($15.6 million this season).
Duncan would have to move in addition to other pieces involved. So the question would become really: How much do the Heat really value Max Strus to completely replace the things that Duncan brings to the table? Miami will have a rotation problem at some points with the return of Markieff Morris, the emergence of Caleb Martin — and possibly the eventual return of Victor Oladipo.
Maybe the Heat recognizes that their backcourt is going to be crowded and that swapping out Duncan for Wood is going to be good for the short-term this season.
A sample trade could look like this:
MIAMI receives: Christian Wood and DJ Augustin
HOUSTON receives: Duncan Robinson, KZ Okpala, Gabe Vincent, Omer Yurtseven
What do you think? Do you think Wood is the type of talent that you’d like to see Miami part with key pieces to acquire?