Interest in Christian Wood trade continues, Rockets to consider options

The Rockets think they have a piece of the puzzle of the future in Alperen Sengun, the Turkish center selected a year ago. Then, with the No. 3 pick in the next NBA Draft, the Rockets will likely select Paolo Banchero of Duke, the 6’10” big man who is the most ready of the best picks to step in and play at the NBA level tomorrow.

Does it leave christian wood on the trading block?

Most likely, especially with Wood whose contract is about to expire, reports Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

It’s obvious that teams have been intrigued by Wood in the past. It’s a unicorn from a big man. That interest hasn’t waned even in the early weeks of the offseason, sources have told The Athletic. Wood is talented enough that the Rockets can’t let him walk away without recovering assets if their tenure is nearing an end.

“Unicorn” may be overstating the case, but he’s a versatile offensive player who averaged 17.9 points per game, shot 39 percent on 3 and pulled out 10 rebounds per game for the Rockets last season. He’s not a defender anymore, but he averages one block per game. He is sporty. There is a place for him in the NBA, but not necessarily in Houston’s future.

If/when the Rockets trade lumber, they will look for players on the jalen green/Banchero (or whoever they choose) timeline. Iko lists some options (mostly combining Wood with the No. 17 pick to get more back) with teams that need centers, like Charlotte and San Antonio. Expect other teams to enter the mix.

Wood said the trade rumors didn’t affect him.

“I just keep playing my game,” Wood told me that month. “Keep hooping. If anything, it’s the motivation. I know all 30 teams are watching whether I’m in a trade talk or not. Just the motivation to keep going. It gives me that extra little step when I walk on the ground.

When the NBA Draft rolls around, expect lumber trade rumors to heat up – and this is one of the most likely deals to go through.

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