With Anthony Davis reportedly telling the Los Angeles Lakers he would like to spend less time playing center during the 2023-24 season, the organization responded by signing Christian Wood in free agency.
Wood spent most of the summer unsigned but finally decided to return home to play for the team he grew up watching. The big man is a natural-born scorer who can shoot from the outside, two key abilities that should help the Lakers this year. He also believes he is a solid passer which should go well next to LeBron James.
The 28-year-old has bounced around the past several years, but lands in arguably the best situation possible. Los Angeles has title aspirations and what better way for Wood to prove that is a winner than by playing an impactful role for the roster.
After signing for a veteran minimum this offseason, Wood admitted he feels like he has a lot to prove to the league and that he’s motivated to do so.
“Yeah, for sure. I think there’s a lot of false narrative out there that’s about me,” Wood said at Lakers Media Day. “Whether you look at it or not, I think I put up 17 and nine, something like that, and I signed for a vet minimum. I’ve seen a lot of talk of, ‘Why is he going for the vet minimum?’ Maybe it’s character issues, maybe it’s this, maybe it’s that but when you really look at it I’ve never had any problem on a team maybe besides Houston and that was for defending a teammate. And if you asked me, I would probably do it again.
“But other than that, I’ve never had any problems with any team. Never had any locker room problems. Every coach that I’ve talked to has loved me. I still talk to (Paul) Silas and (Dwayne) Casey, and all those guys to this day. They root for me. Darvin Ham’s been rooting for me. He’s a guy that’s always been in my corner rooting for me, so I would say I have a lot to prove. This will probably be one of my most motivated seasons since being undrafted.”
The Lakers have done well to rehab talented players’ value over the years and Wood looks like their latest reclamation project. If he’s able to make good on his promise to buy into the team’s goals, then he should find himself a richer man next summer.
Anthony Davis believes Jaxson Hayes and Christian Wood complement him well
L.A. did right by Davis as they added Jaxson Hayes and Wood in free agency to ease the burden of playing so many minutes at the five. As far as their fit next to him, Davis believes Hayes and Wood complement him very well.
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