Lakers Rumors: There’s ‘Internal Optimism’ That L.A. Could Make It Work With Christian Wood
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have spoken openly about their desire to add another big man to the roster before training camp begins. Many names have been mentioned as possibilities, but without a doubt the most talented is Christian Wood.

Last season with the Dallas Mavericks, Wood averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 37.6% from 3-point range. That followed a two-year run with the Houston Rockets in which he averaged 19.1 points and 9.9 rebounds while knocking down 38.4% deep, so the talent is clearly there for the big man.

However, there are attitude concerns with Wood along with a lack of focus on the defensive end that has led to him remaining unsigned so far this offseason. But according to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, there is some internal optimism within the Lakers organization that they could make it work:

The big question would be whether the Lakers’ structure — headlined by coach Darvin Ham and James — could keep Wood focused on winning while eliminating some of his bad habits and overcoming some deficiencies.

While he’s already played for seven teams, there’s at least some internal optimism that the Lakers could make it work as stop No. 8.

LeBron James has certainly gotten some players who were believed to have character concerns to fall in line before. With LeBron and Darvin Ham holding him accountable, along with Anthony Davis whom he has played with before, the Lakers could have the structure in place to keep Wood on the right path.

It says a lot that the Mavericks had no interest in bringing him back despite his excellent numbers last season, and that he has already played for seven teams in his NBA career. A skilled 6-foot-10 big man who score at all three levels, rebound and has flashed some ability to protect the rim when focused should not still be available at this stage of the offseason.

But if the Lakers can get his head on straight, he would be an absolute steal on a minimum contract and could potentially raise the ceiling of this team going into the season. In the end, it may be worth the risk to take a shot on this talented big.

Lakers prepared to offer full three-year max extension to Anthony Davis

If Wood does join the Lakers it would pair him once again with Davis whom he had a short stint with as a teammate in 2019 with the New Orleans Pelicans. Now with the Lakers for the past four seasons, that partnership is expected to continue on even longer.

Recent reports state that the Lakers are prepared to offer Davis a full three-year, $170 million max extension that would keep him with the franchise through 2028. The Lakers are hopeful to get this deal done before training camp begins.

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