Lakers Rumors: Bulls & Heat Emerge As Threats To Sign Christian Wood
Christian Wood, Lakers
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers remain in the market to sign another big man and one of the names linked to the team is talented former Dallas Mavericks big Christian Wood. An offensively-skilled center who can stretch the floor while also providing solid rebounding and a little rim protection, Wood has all the tools to be a serious contributor should the Lakers bring him in.

There are some attitude concerns that do come with Wood as he has been on seven different teams in seven seasons. But with that type of talent, teams are often willing to take the chance, especially a team with championship aspirations like the Lakers. But they apparently have some competition in attaining his services.

According to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, the Chicago Bulls have emerged as a threat to sign Wood thanks to the injury exception they received due to the knee issue that will keep Lonzo Ball out for the year:

According to sources familiar with the team’s free-agent pursuits but not authorized to speak publicly, the Chicago Bulls are suddenly viewed as a potential threat that could keep the Lakers from landing Wood.

The reason? Chicago recently got a $10.2-million player exception because of Lonzo Ball’s knee injury that’s expected to keep him off the court next season. The Bulls can use some or all of that money to acquire a player via trade or sign a player to a one-year free-agent deal.

The Lakers only have a minimum salary to offer Wood, so if he prefers the money that the Bulls could potentially offer him, that could be the way to go. And there could be another team in the mix as well as Woike pointed to the Miami Heat as a potential suitor should they acquire Damian Lillard:

Sources also believe that the Miami Heat could be a suitor for Wood, particularly if they’re able to pull off a Damian Lillard trade. The Heat were rumored to be in the market for Dario Saric before he picked Golden State and the Lakers had interest in Saric as well.

In this scenario, the Heat, like the Lakers, would only be able to offer Wood a minimum contract, but if they could convince him that he would have a bigger role while still competing for a championship, it could persuade him to head to Miami.

Whatever the case, in these latter stages of free agency, Wood is one of the few players capable of being a game-changer for a team. He averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 37.6% from 3-point range last season and the Lakers may have to fight to get him to come to the purple and gold.

Lakers have done ‘significant’ background work on Christian Wood

Some may be asking why a player capable of the numbers Christian Wood has put up over the past couple seasons is still available. Unfortunately, there have been some attitude questions regarding Wood, which is likely why the Dallas Mavericks, who are looking to compete for a championship, are fine letting him walk in free agency.

As such, the Lakers have reportedly done ‘significant background work’ on Wood and have many people within the organization who have worked with him in the past. The last thing the Lakers want to do is bring in someone who could negatively affect team chemistry and morale so they will check out everything before committing to Wood.

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