The Los Angeles Lakers added some depth to their bench this week with the signing of center Christian Wood. Lakers fans immediately began speculating on Wood’s role with the team could potentially be, but at least one NBA insider says that fans should temper their expectations.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic recently reported that it is expected that forward Rui Hachimura will start instead of Wood for Los Angeles.
This would seem to indicate that Anthony Davis will start at center, with Hachimura, LeBron James, Austin Reaves, and either D’Angelo Russell or free agent acquisition Gabe Vincent rounding out the starting unit.
“At a minimum, Wood will be the primary backup center behind Davis while occasionally teaming with him in two-big lineups,” per Buha. “He should average around 20 minutes per game when everyone is healthy.”
Christian Wood has made several stops during his NBA tenure. He first broke into the national spotlight with a strong stretch of games for the Detroit Pistons shortly before the NBA’s COVID-19 suspension in 2020.
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He then spent two years with the Houston Rockets before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks last year, where he completed the 2023 season.
Now, Wood will be suiting up for the Purple & Gold and bringing his unique skillset along with him. At 6’10”, Wood has a soft shooting touch for someone his size along with solid footwork and a reasonable amount of athleticism.
This added center depth will certainly help the Lakers, who saw that weakness exposed by Nikola Jokic and company during last year’s Western Conference Finals.
The Lakers open up their season in Denver on October 24.
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