The biggest need for the San Antonio Spurs this offseason is an athletic big that can knock down threes and hold his own on the boards. While they're expected to address that in next month's NBA Draft, a Houston Rockets writer thinks they could get their guy in a trade instead.
Friday morning, The Athletic's Kelly Iko proposed three potential deals (subscription required) the Rockets could make to ship out their polarizing center, Christian Wood, for assets. On paper, Wood has had two impressive seasons in H-Town, averaging 19.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game on 38.4% shooting from beyond the arc.
Off the court, there have been some run-ins between Wood and the organization, including an incident in which he refused to play in the second half of a blowout loss that led to a one-game suspension. I'm only speculating, but attitude issues may have been a reason Coach Popovich's staff opted for JaVale McGee in last summer's Olympics over Wood, who was having an outstanding season on the court.
Nonetheless, Iko believes Popovich's squad could use someone like Wood, proposing this trade between the two Texas teams:
As Iko states, the acquisition of Wood would push the Spurs closer to competing than rebuilding and is better than anyone they could probably get at 20th this year. I have a hard time arguing with either point.
Potential off-court issues aside, this is not much to give up for a guy who's averaging a double-double through six seasons in the league. Wood would instantly upgrade the Spurs' power forward slot as a floor-spacing big. Even if he's not the rim-protector I'd hope for, that's why you have Jakob Poeltl out there.
I'm actually a bit surprised that a writer covering the Rockets sees this trade as relatively fair. If anything, it seems like a bit of an underpay for a guy who's been putting up borderline All-Star numbers over the past couple of years. This tells me that Houston might be ready to move on from Wood no matter if it takes a lesser package to get there.
As Iko states, Zach Collins would be a decent backup big in Houston while a move could be good for Romeo Langford's development. The biggest prize in the package, though, would probably be the 20th pick in next month's draft.
If San Antonio gets a call on a package even close to this, that's something they have to say yes to.