Houston Rockets rebuild step 2: Determine if Christian Wood is a maximum player
The best move of the offseason was the Rockets signing Christian Wood to a three-year $41 million contract. The only All-Star caliber players that make that little are on rookie contracts, which makes Wood one of the most valuable players in the entire league.
If the Rockets were to make him available for trade the offers they would receive would rival those of NBA superstars. Is Wood as good as Anthony Davis? No, but when the Lakers traded for him he had one year left on his deal and was owed $27 million.
In a salary-cap sport Wood is one of the most valuable commodities in the league. He is young, productive, cheap, and under contract for multiple seasons. Regardless of their place in the standings, the Rockets shouldn’t make Wood available for any reason.
Rebuilding becomes a lot easier when you have an All-Star caliber player already in town and Wood checks that box. What the Rockets need to determine over the next two seasons is if Wood is worth a maximum contract.
If he keeps posting 20 points and 10 rebounds a game on 40-percent 3-point shooting, like he has, the Rockets should extend him as soon as possible. The second step in their rebuild has to be figuring out if Wood is truly a franchise centerpiece, but so far he hasn’t shown anything but that.
Next: Step 3