2023 Free Agency

Christian Wood officially signs 2-year deal with Lakers

Veteran big man Christian Wood has signed a reported 2-year deal with the Lakers after spending last season with Dallas.

Christian Wood, a California native, is reportedly headed to the Lakers next season.

Free agent big man Christian Wood has agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, per multiple reports. The team officially announced the move on Wednesday night.

The second season of the deal is a player option, potentially allowing Wood to return to the market next summer after he didn’t land a large free agent contract this year.

Shortly after news of the deal with the Lakers broke, Wood posted on Twitter: “It’s always been my dream to be a laker.”

Wood, who will turn 28 shortly before training camp, was born in Long Beach and began high school in Los Alamitos before leaving town to attend two prep schools ahead of his career at UNLV.

Wood is coming off a season in which he averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in 67 games with the Mavericks. The 6-foot-10 forward/center shot 51.5% from the field last season, 36.7% on 3-pointers.

Wood has bounced around over his seven-year career, averaging 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds while playing for eight different teams.

He put up a career-best 21.0 points per game for Houston in 2020-21, establishing himself as a dependable offensive performer in the NBA after bouncing back and forth from the NBA G League earlier in his career. Wood can play as a small-ball center while stretching opposing defenses with his 3-point shot, but he sometimes struggles to match up defensively.

Wood is the fifth veteran acquired by the Lakers this summer following their impressive run to the Western Conference finals led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Los Angeles also added 7-footer Jaxson Hayes, forward Taurean Prince, point guard Gabe Vincent and swingman Cam Reddish while retaining free agents D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura.

After the Lakers played down the stretch without a true backup center last season following Mo Bamba’s injury, the presence of Hayes and Wood should allow Davis to play fewer physically demanding minutes in the middle.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.