Why the Houston Rockets need to start looking into Christian Wood trade
By Rob Leeds
Christian Wood probably isn't going to still be on this Rockets roster by the time they are competing for a title. They should see that as a sign to move on now.
For all intents and purposes, Christian Wood is the best player on the Houston Rockets. He might not be the flashy name like Jalen Green that is the future of the franchise, but his play through 2021 showed that he is still a great player and likely the best on the team.
Guys like that generally aren't the ones that teams move on from when they are trying to get better, but the Rockets have a difficult future ahead with Wood.
The crux of this argument is a single question; will Christian Wood be on this roster when the Rockets are in a position to compete for a title again? The answer to that question looks like an obvious no.
Wood is currently 26 years old. Even with conservative estimates, we aren't looking at seeing this Rockets team as a legitimate playoff contender for a few more years. Wood in his late twenties isn't actually that bad of a prospect, but it just doesn't seem like the Rockets are willing to keep their money invested in him with so many draft picks and contracts coming up over the next few years.
To complicate the Wood situation, the Rockets do need to figure out what they have in Alperen Sengun. The rookie polarized fans last year with some people seeing him as the best future center in the league while others saw him as little more than a piece to trade.
The truth likely lies somewhere between those two points, but it would be worth it to see if Sengun can actually hit his impressive projected numbers per 36 minutes of 16.7/9.6/4.5.
There are obviously a lot of moving pieces that could change that projection with uncertainity spread throughout the roster, but if the Rockets aren't actually competing again in 2022, isn't it worth it to see if those numbers are attainable for Sengun?
We would argue that it is.
None of this is to minimize Christian Wood or what he brings to the table, but he feels like he belongs on a contender more than he does this young Rockets team that is trying to figure out who it is.
This team needs time to grow. And while Wood is a great player and a quality veteran pressence in this locker room, it might be better for the Rockets to be worse in the short-term without Wood to see what they project to be in the long-term.
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