The most recent free agent brought in by the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason may have the biggest impact of any new player on the team. Many teams were interested in big man Christian Wood, but he ultimately chose to join a Lakers team with championship expectations and a coach he is familiar with in Darvin Ham.
The talent of Wood is undeniable and he seems to be an ideal fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In fact, Rob Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers staff recently got a look at Wood next to the team’s stars and were excited about what they saw.
“There were several contending teams that wanted to add him just because his skills are undeniable,” Pelinka said at a recent press conference. “He’s a 7-footer who can spread the floor. He’s got length. He moves fluidly. Just being down at LeBron’s little minicamp down in San Diego, seeing him on the court with Anthony Davis and just the length that those two have together. He’s a phenomenal talent.”
Wood and Davis together is a scary sight for opposing teams with what they can do on both ends of the court. Wood is mostly known for his offense and has put up some impressive numbers over the past few seasons and now Ham wants the big man to show he isn’t just a regular season player, but can shine on the big stage as well.
“Now that last piece is he’ll tell you he’s never been to the playoffs,” the Lakers coach added. “And he and I talked and I said now it’s time for you to show that your stats that you put up and your impact can impact winning and winning at the highest levels. So, he’s excited about that. He’s excited and his teammates have totally embraced him and I’m looking for a lot of big moments out of him this season.”
Great players are judged by how they perform in the playoffs. Plenty of players are capable of putting up great numbers during the season, but legends are born in the playoffs and the Lakers hope Wood will be able to have some huge moments in the postseason.
Of course Wood’s reputation is that he is strictly an offensive player and doesn’t buy-in on defense, but Ham doesn’t care about what others think of the big man and is excited for the versatility he will bring to the Lakers.
“Just from watching him from afar, just the way he impacts a game, his versatility. People try to knock him for his defense but the kid blocks shots, he tries to buy-in since I’ve had him,” Ham added. “I’m not gonna go off of others’ opinions, I’m gonna develop my own with what I see in front of me and the times I’ve had with him, he’s done nothing but try to execute whatever he was being taught, whatever coaches were trying to put down to him when I was around him.”
Wood’s reputation is known, but sometimes it takes a player being in the right situation to bring the best out of him. Ham, Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers players believe this is that situation for him to shine brighter than he ever has in his career.
Lakers’ Christian Wood believes he and Anthony Davis are a ‘crazy pairing’
Perhaps the most important factor in the success of Wood with the Lakers is how he fits next to Davis and Wood believes it is a perfect fit.
The big man says he believes Davis and himself make for a ‘crazy pairing’ while adding that the Lakers superstar has long been his favorite player to watch in the league.
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