Miami Heat Pursuing Houston’s Christian Wood?by Jacari McRae January 25, 2022 0 comments
We’re just a few weeks away from the NBA trade deadline on February 10. This is the time of year when fans and the media dream up hypothetical deals for teams. It’s also the time of year when team executives start discussing moves to improve their team. Those deals will either be completed or fall through by the deadline. The Houston Rockets are expected to be one of the more active teams at the trade deadline. Forward Christian Wood is among players the Rockets are considering moving.
There are plenty of teams who are interested in pursuing Wood. One of those teams appears to be the Miami Heat. According to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, the Heat have been one of the teams showing major interest in the 6’10” big man.
Miami has been one of the more ‘persistent teams’ in engaging with Houston on Christian Wood, per @KellyIkoNBA
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 24, 2022
Getting a Deal Done
The 26-year-old Wood is the Rockets’ leading scorer (17.5 points per game) and rebounder (10.3 rebounds per game) this season. He is in the second year of his three-year $41 million dollar contract. A year after trading James Harden, the Rockets remain in rebuild mode and could be looking to acquire more value for the forward. Wood’s deal expires in 2023 and he’ll probably leave the team when that time comes. One reason he signed with the team was to play with Harden, who was traded away a year ago. Wood would probably be better off with a team competing in the playoffs.
The Heat are one of the best teams in the league. Despite their stars missing games, they are currently the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference standings. Considering how well they played, it’s hard to fathom them making a move that will shake up their team. It’s also hard finding a pathway to a deal with Miami currently lacking the draft assets. To acquire Wood, they will have to trade Duncan Robinson to make the salaries match. Robinson makes $15.6 million this season while Wood is making $13.6 million. Is Robinson enough to get a deal done? Wouldn’t Houston want draft capital in return, as well? It may require another team to get involved, shifting Robinson elsewhere for picks.
Does it Make Sense?
If Miami added Wood to the roster, it would will shake up the rotation. If he starts, the move will force P.J. Tucker to the bench. Is that something they would want to do? Tucker has been a great fit next to Bam Adebayo on both ends of the floor. He’s shooting 45.9 percent from downtown and is a great versatile defender. Playing Tucker alongside Adebayo allows Miami to switch a lot on defense. Additionally, there’s no reason to believe Wood would be ok with playing off the bench either. He’s very young and will likely be playing for a huge deal after his contract expires.
Wood’s fit with the team is another thing to consider. Offensively, he stretches the floor and has some individual creative ability when it comes to scoring. However, he’s a ball stopper and that’s not a good fit for a team that depends on great ball movement. With Tucker, the ball is always moving because he’s always looking to find teammates or shoot when he’s ready. Defensively, Wood is not a good defender and makes low-IQ plays on that end of the floor. There have been times where Wood has checked out on a play or two.
Overall, it’s hard to see how Wood fits with this team. It is also not a move you make when you’re playing good basketball and the team is starting to jell. If Miami was playing badly, then maybe. Right now, it doesn’t seem like a move to make.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
Main Image Credit: via Sky Sports