Free agent forward/center Christian Wood has agreed to a two-year, $5.7 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers that includes a player option for the 2024-25 season, sources told ESPN on Tuesday night.
Wood has a chance to contribute to a Western Conference contender and put his value back on the market for a potential return to free agency in 2024 — and the Lakers will get a seasoned big man who will give them significant versatility. and front-line depth.
Wood’s arrival, along with the free-agent signing of 7-footer Jaxson Hayes, likely means Anthony Davis will have to play fewer minutes at center this season.
Wood averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Dallas Mavericks in 2022-23, including a 30-point, 8-rebound, 4-steal performance in the Christmas win over the Lakers.
Wood, who will turn 28 at the end of this month, gives the Lakers the ability to stretch the floor in the frontcourt. He is one of four players 6-foot-10 or taller to make 100 3-pointers in each of the past two seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The others are Nikola Vucevic, Lauri Markkanen and Jaren Jackson Jr.
Wood averaged 38% of 3-pointers over the past four seasons and joins a Lakers team that shot just 34% last season, 25th in the league.
He came to Los Angeles after spending one season with the Mavericks and the last two with the Houston Rockets.