The Mavericks made their decision in 2022 – just over a week before the June 23 event.
A source confirmed to the Dallas Morning News Wednesday night that Dallas will trade his team in the first round (No. 26 overall) and retain Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown and Marquis Chris versus the Houston Rockets in favor of quarterback Christian Wood.
The deal fulfills one of the Mavericks’ main goals in this off-season – to upgrade their production in the front zone and depth – and unloads expired contract for many underused players.
The Dallas and Houston managers can’t formally complete the deal until draft night because the Mavericks owe the New York Knicks a top 10 pick in 2023, and the NBA prohibits teams from trading first rounds in consecutive years.
But the fans did not wait for praise General Manager Nico Harrison The Mavericks movement.
The 26-year-old Wood started 67 of 68 games with the Rockets last season and averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and one block per game while shooting 50% from the field and 39% from three.
The 6-10, 214-pound mega man is set to earn $14.3 million for the 2022-23 season – the final year of a three-year and $41 million deal he signed ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Then, the former Mavericks front office system was interested in acquiring a player whose talent didn’t always translate into consistency while playing for five teams — Philadelphia, Charlotte, Milwaukee, New Orleans and Detroit — in his first four years in the NBA.
But in his last two games with Houston, Wood averaged 19.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game while improving his 3-point shooting percentage to 39% in 2021-22 in a career best of 68 games.
This is the kind of production the Mavericks wished for as they reached the Western Conference Finals.
Starting tandem guard Luka Doncic and Jalen Bronson and 3D wingers Dorian Finney Smith and Reggie Bullock exceeded expectations during the franchise’s first multi-role appearance since the 2011 championship, but contributions from the center stage were lacking.
Dwight Powell has been a regular fixture all season – and has played in all 100 Mavericks games during the season.
But his playing time decreased significantly in games against the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors when the Mavericks switched to smaller ball formations and looked to produce a 3-point shot.
That left coach Jason Kidd running powerhouse striker Maxi Clipper in the center – when he wasn’t in bad trouble – or getting too small with Vinnie Smith as the five.
Harrison and Kidd also cited the team’s struggle in rebounding as reasons Dallas’ lost in the Conference Finals in five games.
Harrison said in his exit interview on May 27, “If you look at the series, we’ve lost a few games on the board. That’s important. We need to get someone who can help us with the bounces, to be an edge protector. I think we need to know that, for sure.” .
Wood enters immediately as a potential starter – with little disruption to spin.
Marjanovic ($3.5 million), Burke ($3.3 million), Brown ($3 million) and Chriss ($2.2 million) all came into the final year of their deals. They ranked as the four least used Mavericks players in the post-season. No more than 3.8 minutes were scored per game – often towards the end of the blast results.
Combined with his 26th rookie contract total (expected to be around $1.9 million in 2022-23), the contract matches Wood’s salary, and the Mavericks fortify the biggest gap in the roster before the league season begins in earnest.
In: Wood, which will be eligible for a four-year, $77 million extension six months after the trade transfer, according to ESPN.
Exit: Asset Expires to a rebuilding franchise that wants to give young front yard prospects more playtime anyway.
The only concern?
Marjanovic and Doncic forged a particularly close friendship during the three overlapping seasons in Dallas.
They are associated with their Balkan roots, Serbian language, and goofy personalities.
Wouldn’t the franchise star get upset to see his good friend leave?
Harrison made it clear that he would Doncic consult and update on all moves of the list.
“We’re going to have a million things on the board, and we’ll be throwing ideas back and forth,” Harrison said during his exit interview. “You look at Luca, as cool as he is, he has a different view of what I might and might do [assistant general manager Michael Finley] Maybe and maybe even JKidd, so we want to embrace that.
“And then we might have a different view of what he has, and we want him to understand that too. I think it’s a two-way street. I think you’re crazy trying to build a roster that doesn’t include your best player. It doesn’t make sense.”
Barring another deal, Dallas won’t add a draft player for the second year in a row because Harrison & Company replaced their second manager in 2022 with Washington in the Christapps Porsings Spencer Dinody-Davies Bertans deal last February.
But the Mavericks will not stand idly by during free agency.
Harrison highlighted the re-signing of Bronson – Mavericks Single free agent on the 15-man list This is off season – as the team’s #1 priority.
They will also have a $10.9 million trade exception (scheduled to expire June 29 from last year’s Josh Richardson deal) and a mid-level exception for luxury taxpayers.
The luxury, in fact, because Wood’s arrival wouldn’t make their greatest need anymore.
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