Big man Christian Wood is one of the best free agents still available, and it seems like he’s interested in joining the Miami Heat.
“Christian Wood, from my understanding, is interested in a potential role in Miami—depending on what players are involved in that [Dame] trade. If they add Nurkić I think that frontcourt is set. If they don't & get rid of Jović, can Wood come in & outplay Love & Bryant”@jovanbuha pic.twitter.com/tMBvB2Hhpe
— Dru (@dru_star) August 11, 2023
However, his interest appears to depend on what ends up happening with the team’s pursuit of Portland Trail Blazers superstar guard Damian Lillard.
Should the Heat gut their roster in order to acquire the 33-year-old, they might be interested in having Wood join the team to play a big role in the frontcourt. If they don’t trade for Lillard or acquire a big man like Jusuf Nurkic, then Wood’s services might not be needed.
The Heat’s latest trade package for Lillard reportedly consists of multiple first-round picks, expiring contracts, a young player (potentially Nikola Jovic), Tyler Herro going to a third team for assets and possibly more.
Wood spent all of last season with the Dallas Mavericks and averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game while knocking down 51.5 percent of his shots from the field 37.6 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
He’s always been known to be a great scorer, but most of his issues tend to come on the defensive side of the ball. Though he’s averaged at least one block per game in each of the past three seasons, he’s also had a negative defensive box plus/minus in those campaigns.
Perhaps joining the Heat and playing in the frontcourt alongside someone like Bam Adebayo, one of the league’s best defensive big men, would help him improve on that side of the ball.
Miami reportedly isn’t considered a sign-and-trade destination for Wood, so it will have to acquire him a different way. The Heat’s preseason roster is now at 21, the maximum amount allowed during the offseason, after a flurry of moves on Friday, but things can change in a hurry.
Heat's current roster …
Standard (13): Adebayo, Bryant, Butler, Herro, Highsmith, Jaquez Jr., Jovic, Love, Lowry, Martin, Richardson, D. Robinson and O. Robinson.
Two-way (3): Smith, Cain and Bouyea.
Exhibit 10 (5): Peterson, Swider, Champagnie, Daniels and Williams.
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) August 11, 2023
It’ll be interesting to see if Wood ends up signing with the Heat. They would be the eighth team he’s played for since making his NBA debut back in 2015.