Christian Wood will be out of the Dallas Mavericks seat during the contract season

Christian Wood will be out of the Dallas Mavericks seat during the contract season

The most significant addition to the Dallas Mavericks roster during the holiday period was striker Christian Wood. Dallas was replaced by the six-year veteran, sending a group of deep bench players and a first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for Wood.

Despite spending a lot of capital to get it, many saw the Mavericks as the winners in the trade. Wood’s role with Dallas, though, wouldn’t be a start, at least not at first. The season will start as a reserve.

“Right now, and I said in the summer we’d put him on the bench,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said of Wood during his media interview. “We are starting JaVale [McGee] and Spencer [Dinwiddie]. This is how we will start as we move forward.”

This does not necessarily mean that the Kid attaches the wood to the seat permanently. Kidd said he could see some beginnings this season based on the specific matches and formations the team is exploring.

Although Kidd has been repeating his view to the media, it appears he hasn’t discussed his squad decision with his players. The news surprised Wood.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of it,” Wood said during a media day.

Wood played in all but one of the 68 games he played for the Rockets, last season. Houston coach Stephen Silas initially suspended him in early January as a penalty for not participating in the team’s daily Covid-19 testing.

Over the past two seasons, Wood has started 108 games and averaged 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.0 blocks. He shot 50.7% overall and 34.8% from behind the three-point arc.

Wood doesn’t see his role on the bench becoming a distraction during the season. However, his role will influence what he wants as he looks to secure a new contract.

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“I’m excited either way, whether I’m on the bench or at the start,” Wood said. “It’s something I can discover. [I’m] I’m not really worried about who starts the game and more worried about who will finish the game.

“If people are asking, ‘How does he feel about coming off the bench,’ I’m not too concerned. It’s something that will often happen in conversations with extensions and conversations with the free agency. But during the season, it’s not going to take me away from my pivot.”

Wood is in the final year of a three-year, $41 million contract. He will earn $14.3 million this season and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023. Dallas will have the opportunity to sign him for an extension that season if he chooses.

Even with his demotion to the bench, Wood is excited to be in Dallas and to play for a team that continues to have success year after year.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me, because I’m finally in a winning organization,” Wood said. “If you look at my previous career, I was in a lot of losing teams. So, I have a great opportunity to prove myself and prove that I can do well in a winning team.”

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