Houston Rockets: The case for, and against, trading Christian Wood

Christian Wood #35 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images).
Christian Wood #35 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images). /
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Houston Rockets
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers, Christian Wood #35 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The case for the Houston Rockets trading Christian Wood: Defense

A point among Rockets fans that’s almost as contentious as whether or not to trade Wood, is what position Wood should play. At 6’10 and 214 pounds, Wood finds himself almost precisely between the modern five and the traditional four spot. On the offensive side, his tweener status is a blessing: he has the mobility and speed to get around traditional centers, and he has the length and stoutness to bully opposing fours.

On the defensive end, it’s a slightly different story. He’s a little too weak to function as an effective rim protector, and he’s not quite quick enough to keep up with the modern NBA’s more perimeter-oriented fours. This early in a rebuild, Raphael Stone has to be forward thinking. Wood is ultra talented, but could his defensive limitations hamstring a contending Rockets team in the years ahead?

Hot. 3 players that would be a perfect fit at 23 or 24

NBA championships are generally won by the team with the most stars, and the least flaws. A valuable starter functioning as a defensive liability is, to put it lightly, a major flaw.

In fact, Rockets fans have become all-too-familiar with an all offense, no-defense mentality. For the next iteration of contending Rockets, whenever they may come, it might be advantageous to have a starting center who can bang with opposing fives on the low block and consistently protect the rim. To put it differently, if you missed Clint Capela last season, you might prefer James Wiseman to Christian Wood. Now, onto why trading Christian Wood shouldn’t be in the Rockets’ plans.