Mavericks acquire Rockets' Christian Wood for four players

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A person with direct knowledge of the agreement said the Houston Rockets are trading center Christian Wood, their leading scorer and rebounder this season, to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for four players and a draft pick.

Boban Marjanovic, former Knick Trey Burke, Sterling Brown and Marquese Chriss are going to the Rockets, who will also receive the No. 26 pick this year, according to the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade is not finalized.

It will not be finalized until the June 23 draft, the person said.

It is a major move for the Mavericks, after Wood averaged 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He was one of nine players to average at least 17 points and 10 rebounds, joining Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver, Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis, New Orleans’ Jonas Valanciunas, Chicago’s Nikola Vucevic and Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton.

Wood is entering the final season of a three-year, $41 million contract. He revealed to reporters in Houston last week that he had preliminary talks with the Rockets on an extension, though it isn’t known if one side balked or if it simply became clear that he wasn’t going to be in the team’s long-term plans.

The Rockets traded Christian Wood, going up for a shot last season, to the Mavericks for four players and a draft pick.
The Rockets traded Christian Wood, going up for a shot last season, to the Mavericks for four players and a draft pick.

Either way, now Dallas star Luka Doncic gets another talented option to surround himself with next season. Wood has become a much better 3-point shooter as his career goes along; his 131 makes from beyond the arc this season matched his total from the previous two seasons combined.

Houston also currently has two other first-round picks in the draft — including No. 3, with the most likely selection in that spot being Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren or Duke’s Paolo Banchero. Orlando picks No. 1, followed by Oklahoma City at No. 2, and there has been much speculation that Banchero would fall to the Rockets.

The Rockets also have the No. 17 selection, acquiring that from Brooklyn as part of the James Harden trade in January 2021.

Wood averaged 50% shooting this season, including 39 percent from 3-point range. Dallas will be the 26-year-old’s seventh team in seven NBA seasons, after stints in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Detroit and Houston.

His breakout started in an eight-game stint with the Pelicans in 2018-19, averaging 16.9 points. He averaged 21.0 points with the Rockets last season, his first as a full-time starter, and appeared in a career-most 68 games with Houston this season.