Watch: Lakers latest addition Christian Wood blows by JaVale McGee for a two-handed slam

LA Lakers center Christian Wood drives by Sacramento Kings counterpart JaVale McGee for an uncontested dunk.
LA Lakers center Christian Wood drives by Sacramento Kings counterpart JaVale McGee for an uncontested dunk.

Christian Wood was the LA Lakers’ last signing in NBA free agency. The lanky center played 67 games for the Dallas Mavericks last season but didn’t get the extension he expected. A tepid market for his services eventually saw him taking his talents to Hollywood for a two-year $5.75 million deal. Darvin Ham is excited to see what he can do for the team.

Many are intrigued by what Wood can bring to the table for his new team. He is quite mobile and is a 37.9% career shooter from behind the arc. One play against the Sacramento Kings showed exactly what Wood offers:

Christian Wood's decent efficiency from behind the arc forced Kings center JaVale McGee out of the shaded lane. A simple fake caused McGee to lunge for his shot. Wood’s first step allowed him to attack the rim without anyone in his path.

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Sacramento’s help defense was nowhere to be found in that play but Wood had already caused damage with a pump fake and casual drive. Not all teams will commit the same kind of mistake in this sequence, but Wood’s threat as a shooter is already giving the Lakers a new dimension to their offense.

In the first half against the Sacramento Kings, Christian Wood already had five points and four rebounds in 13 minutes. Darvin Ham could be looking to play him more in the second half.

Christian Wood has played in every LA Lakers preseason game

Darvin Ham seems intent on checking how the new additions will fit into his system. Christian Wood, a late signee, has seen action in all three preseason games. LA’s new center debuted for the team against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Wood played 20 minutes and finished with five points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. He came off the bench and was Anthony Davis’ primary backup big man. Wood’s defense isn’t on the same level as Jaxson Hayes, but he has the more polished offensive game.

Ham also experimented with both AD and Wood on the floor at the same time. Wood’s shotmaking from the perimeter makes his partnership with Davis a dimension Ham could test even more.

Christian Wood reprised his off-the-bench role in the LA Lakers’ win against the Brooklyn Nets in their second preseason game. He ended with 10 points, six rebounds and two steals. Darvin Ham was clearly experimenting with how he used Wood and Jaxson Hayes in the rotation.

Wood has a player option after this season. If he plays well, he could get a more lucrative offer from another team.

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Edited by Michael Macasero
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