Houston Rockets: How scarce is Christian Wood’s skill set?
Christian Wood has a unique set of skills. There aren’t many players who combine his efficiency from the 3-point line and at the rim. Every team is looking for more shooting and the one position where it’s hardest to find is center.
The only problem is that Wood’s uniqueness is largely predicated on him being a center. There are plenty of fours who can approximate his offensive contributions, but far fewer fives. If a team believes he can be good enough as the lone center or are comfortable playing him next to a five then his list of suitors will be incredibly deep.
Houston Rockets: How well does Christian Wood fit?
The NBA has become a spread pick-and-roll league and Christian Wood has the exact toolset teams look for in their primary screen setter. As noted before, he is a threat when he rolls and when he pops. If paired with a dangerous pick-and-roll artist, pairing him with Wood could see both of their numbers explode.
Another attractive attribute of Wood’s is that even if he’s not setting a screen the threat of his 3-point shot still creates space. This allows him to play next to a center or allows a team to go with five-out spacing. The offensive versatility he provides is something every franchise looks for.
However, outside of the pick-and-roll and as a floor spacer, Wood doesn’t offer much else. He’s not much of a threat off the dribble, although he has shown the ability to pump and drive on overly aggressive close-outs. Christian Wood’s game fits just about every modern NBA offense.
His defensive fit is more perplexing. He can play center in certain match-ups, but a championship team wouldn’t be comfortable with him as their only real option at the position. If next to a traditional center, Wood can adequately guard certain fours, but his defensive fit could scare some teams off.
At the end of the day, teams tend to value offense over defense, and Wood fits just about any offensive system.