The Los Angeles Lakers have long been stuck with 13 players on the roster. After almost a month of inaction from the purple and gold, Rob Pelinka and the front office have finally found their floor-spacing big man for the 14th roster spot.
And after all of the delay and the speculation about who the team might sign, the Lakers ended up signing the most obvious free agent there is. Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Tuesday night that the Lakers signed Christian Wood to a two-year deal with a player option in the second year.
Per Bobby Marks, Wood will make $2.7 million this upcoming season and $3 million the following season if he opts in.
Wood is a big name and those that are just looking at his box score stats are going to be impressed. But there is some baggage that comes with Wood and it is something that the Lakers are going to have to continue to monitor.
The Lakers are a team that is very much in the running to win the NBA Championship in 2024. The last thing that Los Angeles needs is any kind of distraction, and unfortunately, Wood has been a distraction for other teams in the past.
Back in January of 2022, Wood was suspended by the Houston Rockets after poor behavior when he was not in the starting lineup. Those kind of actions are not going to fly in Los Angeles when the ultimate goal is so much bigger than any egos that players may have on the team.
It will be interesting to see how LA handles Wood and how he handles a potential demotion on the team. Los Angeles doesn’t need Wood playing 25 minutes a night and the team doesn’t need him scoring 20 points a night. They just need someone who can log 18-20 minutes of quality play without headache. Whether or not Wood can do that is yet to be seen.
It is true that Wood has offensive potential and he certainly adds the floor-spacing dynamic that the Lakers are searching for. But he is also an awful defender, which is going to come around to bite the team in the playoffs if he plays a big role.