The Miami Heat may have lost out on signing free agent Christian Wood, but that reportedly might be okay with head coach Erik Spoelstra, who reportedly doesn’t view the big man as the type of player he would choose to start alongside Bam Adebayo.
Wood agreed to a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week reportedly because he believes he’ll have a chance to work his way into their starting lineup at some point this season. That did not seem to be a role he would’ve played for the Heat, if Spoelstra’s reported views on the 27-year-old are accurate.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas product also would have brought an unflattering reputation to Miami having played for seven teams in seven NBA seasons with more time also spent in several stints in the G League despite his obvious talent.
He did play well in a reserve role for the Dallas Mavericks last season, averaging 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game in 67 appearances (17 starts). The fact that he was still on the market in early September could have worked out well for the Heat, who have been limited in making offseason acquisitions while they await a resolution to their pursuit of a possible trade for Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers.
There reportedly was mutual interest between Wood and Miami that was dependent on the outcome of a Lillard trade, which has been rumored for months. In fact, one NBA executive said it would’ve been wise for Wood to wait to sign with a team like the Heat rather than the Lakers because Miami was potentially able to offer him more money than Los Angeles could.
Instead, Wood took a $5.7 million contract from the Lakers while the Heat still don’t have Lillard in the fold with training camp about to begin in less than a month. Miami reportedly could still have Kelly Oubre Jr. on its radar, but that also likely is dependent on landing Lillard.
So with another option now unavailable, time is running out for the Heat to fortify a roster entering a season when they are expected to contend for the NBA championship.