#5- Christian Wood- Most Improved Player and All-Star
Christian Wood has been a revelation for Houston Rockets fans this season. Despite his limited run as a starter last season for the Detriot Pistons, Christian Wood entered the offseason as one of the premier targets in the free-agent class.
With the Rockets’ early exit in the 2020 playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers that featured a center-less starting lineup, the franchise looked to shake things up. To kick off the offseason, they dealt Robert Covington, their small-ball center in 2020, to the Portland Trail Blazers which allowed them to sign Christian Wood and bring his distinct skillset into the fold.
After ten games with the Houston Rockets, Christian Wood has continued the upward trajectory he showed late last season with the Pistons. The 6’10” center has been outstanding, with averages of 23.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game on a 52.2-percent field-goal percentage.
Those averages have Wood ranking 20th in scoring, fourth in blocks, and eighth in rebounds per game. Only two centers are ahead of him in scoring, Joel Embiid, and Nikola Jokic, which puts Wood in the conversation for the best center in the league.
The margin between them isn’t large either, as Embiid is averaging 25 points per game and Jokic comes in at 24.2. With Harden now out of the picture, it would not be a surprise if Wood eventually surpasses both big men in scoring this season.
Wood’s numbers speak for themself, and the big man is in pole position to join Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis this February as the third All-Star center from the Western Conference. In addition to possibly being an All-Star selection, Wood is also eligible to earn Most Improved Player honors.
Last season, Wood was logged 21.4 minutes, 13 points, and 6 rebounds per game. Considering his current averages, It would come as a shock to the NBA world if Wood does not earn himself this award by the end of the season.
Next: Player No. 4