The Rockets will send Wood to the Mavericks for Marquise Chriss, Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown and Trey Burke, a person with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday.
They will make the move primarily to receive the Mavericks’ first-round pick, the 26th selection in next week’s NBA draft, a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking said, and because the Rockets determined that Wood did not fit with the team’s long-term plans at his position.
The deal will help ease some of the glut at the power forward and center positions, with the Rockets considered likely to choose another big man with their first pick in the draft, with Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero expected to be the top three players chosen.
With center Alperen Sengun also considered an essential part of the Rockets’ rebuild, there was uncertainty about how Wood would fit with the other young big men. The Rockets also have Jae’Sean Tate, K.J. Martin and Usman Garuba at power forward.
Reliably productive in his two seasons with the Rockets, as he had been in his previous season with the Pistons, Wood often struggled relative to his play with small lineups when playing with another big man, a factor in the team’s decision to move on.
Wood is entering the final season of his contract, worth $14.3 million next season. He said last week he had spoken to the Rockets about a potential extension, but negotiations could not begin until next month.
Wood said last week that he had hoped to remain with the Rockets, but added “I just want to win, try to get to the playoffs. I hadn’t been to the playoffs yet in my career. That’s what I’m focused on.”
The Rockets had acquired Wood before the 2020-21 season in a sign-and-trade deal with the Pistons for Trevor Ariza and an exchange of first-round picks, adding him to a team that featured James Harden and Russell Westbrook and was expecting to extend its streak in the postseason, then the longest in the NBA.
With the trade of Harden early that season, they instead moved to a full rebuild, finishing with the worst record in the NBA in each of Wood’s two seasons with the Rockets.
The deal with the Mavericks cannot be completed until after the draft. Barring a subsequent trade in which the Rockets would combine their picks at 17 and 26 to move up, when the Mavericks make the choice with their first-round pick, they will be choosing for the Rockets.
There had been conjecture that the Rockets would include Wood in trades to move up in the draft, with multiple individuals with knowledge of talks saying the Rockets have been active in discussing a variety of potential deals ahead of the draft. They could still use their willingness to deal to help them move up, but it would have to be with the late first-round pick acquired from the Mavericks.
Wood averaged 19.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in his two seasons with the Rockets. He was one of 14 players to average at least 15 points and 10 rebounds last season. He had 34 double-doubles last season, matching his total for games with at least 10 points and rebounds in his first five seasons combined.
He made 39 percent of his 3-pointers last season, behind only Eric Gordon among Rockets players that were with the team throughout the season and shot especially well in the final months of the season. Wood made 44.8 percent of his 3s in his final 31 games after making 33 percent in his first 37 games of the season.
Chriss and Brown have previously played for the Rockets but are unlikely to be brought to training camp. Of the veteran players the Rockets will acquire in the deal, the 7-4 Marjanovic is most likely to be with the team given his willingness to embrace a limited role and his effectiveness offensively. But even that possibility is to be determined.
With the players to be added from Wednesday’s trade, the Rockets will have 16 players under contract, not including players with two-way contracts and the players to be acquired in the draft. Though the players acquired from the Mavericks are not expected to occupy roster spots, that still points to changes that could be coming.
source: Houston Chronicle