Houston Rockets: 3 Free agent targets that would thrive in small ball
Christian Wood: Power Forward → Center
Acquiring Christian Wood will be difficult. He’s young, productive, and the Pistons hold his rights and can offer him more money. That doesn’t mean all is lost. Sign and trades are always possible and could help Houston offload some veteran contracts. Outside of the maneuvering required to procure Wood’s services, he offers Houston precisely what they need.
Wood is 6-10 and is a career 36.8 percent 3-point shooter. I assume players with this profile make Daryl Morey salivate, but I’ve never met the guy and can’t be sure. As an added benefit, he finishes nicely at the rim at 79.3 percent, avoids the mid-range jumpers, can rebound, and blocks shots. In short, he covers up a lot of the Rockets’ problems and fits right in with the principles of their offense.
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The Rockets don’t necessarily want to be small; they just need four shooters on the court to get the best out of Russell Westbrook. Wood has the height and length to be a real interior player, be a screener in the pick and roll, and stand in the corner to space the floor.
The Pistons are rebuilding and will likely want to keep him around, but the Rockets should inquire because players this perfect don’t come around often.
Wood might be one of the most attractive players in a weak free agency, but the Rockets hold an ace in the hole that no other team can offer — the perfect role. Wood, as the Rockets’ small-ball center, would put up ridiculous numbers.
He’d have a steady diet of wide-open corner threes, and when he’s not asked to clear the paint, he’d become the screen man for Harden or Westbrook.
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With his rolling and shooting ability, he might never take a contested shot in Houston. At 24, he’ll want to get paid. Houston should sell him on the role of a lifetime leading to even more money down the line.