Rockets News

Houston Rockets: Which veterans deserve to stick around?

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 19: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets huddles with the team against the Houston Rockets prior to the game at American Airlines Arena on April 19, 2021 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 19: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets huddles with the team against the Houston Rockets prior to the game at American Airlines Arena on April 19, 2021 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Christian Wood #35 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images )

Houston Rockets: Does Christian Wood deserve to stick around?

Christian Wood absolutely deserves to stick around and should be the Rockets’ centerpiece for the next two seasons. Wood is the most talented player on the Rockets and if it weren’t for an ankle injury and a rotating cast of guards his full-season numbers would have been even better than the 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game on 51.4-percent shooting he posted.

However, Wood does present the Rockets with an interesting dilemma. He is by far their most talented player and one of the best contracts in the league. His trade value, under his current contract, is immense.

If the Rockets want to do a full-on teardown then they should absolutely pursue trading Christian Wood. He could land an excellent package and they won’t have to worry about his looming free agency in two seasons.

Wood is an excellent player but is he a player that you can win a championship with on a max deal? Probably not. That’s not a diss, it’s just an acknowledgment of how max-deals make true superstars underpaid and the next tier of star overpaid.

Wood isn’t a superstar, he’s a borderline All-Star, which is great at $13 million a season, but a one-way ticket to irrelevancy when he’s making $35 million a season. Wood is still young and a late bloomer so perhaps he has even more room for growth into his late 20’s, but by then the Rockets would have already had to make a decision on his future.

The Rockets should want to keep Christian Wood around if they want their 2021-22 team to be as good as possible. However, if they want to engage in a full-scale teardown then he should be the first guy they look to move because right now his value is as high as it will ever be.

The verdict: Keep, unless a godfather offer materializes

Next: Does Eric Gordon deserve to stick around?

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