Wouldn’t it be nice?
By a strange (and painful) chain of events Clint Capela turned into Robert Covington who turned into Christian Wood and some picks. The Rockets actually signed Wood in the off-season to be their starting big. He’s only 25, so if we can scout 25 year old JaeSean Tate, then we can scout NBA kinda veteran Christian Wood.
Remember these rankings are present rating and possible positive future rating. It’s unlikely for young players that these ratings will decline until they’re past 30, or are injured. These are solely my own opinion, garnered from watching the Rockets scuffle through this season of pain. It’s a way of finding hope on the roster.
Christian is an excellent name for any person. Oh, you thought it’d be another “Wood” joke?
Athleticism/Explosion – 4/4
Wood is athletic in that he’s fast, and shifty, rather than a powerful player. His body control is excellent – with a point guard partner devoted to making his life easy he could do more with his ability to score in the paint.
Shooting Ability – 3/4
His shooting ability is real. So is his streakiness. I anticipate even better shooting, from longer range. That’s what separates him from the rest, so it should be a focus.
Awareness/BBIQ/Anticipation – 3/5
He’s below average in his defensive awareness. There are times when he seems to “get it” but a lot of others where he looks lost. That said, maybe a summer, a camp, a somewhat stable roster might improve that look. On offense, his game and awareness are much higher. But Rockets guards (cough, John Wall) need to know that the offense STARTS with Wood, then moves elsewhere. Not the other way around.
Physical Profile/Physicality/Durability – 2/3
Wood needs to be stronger. Can he be much stronger though? It could be that he’s got a fast/agile/skinny frame. Also, this season of many injuries is a real worry.
Playmaking/Shot Creation 3/5
The “5” is for Woods creating his own shot in the paint. He’s hard to stop from the top of the post on to the baseline, with a variety of slinky moves, and some raw power. He’s shown flashes of good passing, but for a center to be more than a guy who kicks to the corners, the offense needs to move.
Handle/Speed With Ball 3/4
Already above average for position. Off hand is ok. Good speed with the ball on the break, though now every time I see it, I worry about his ankles.
He’s probably better as PF, or at least paired with a guy who’s around to bang into opponents, gather tough rebounds (and is taller than 6’4”). You know, a power forward, like they used to have. Wood’s 3pt range, coupled with his quite solid inside game, means he can be deployed in legitimate 5 out schemes. It would help if the other four could make a shot, though, otherwise the major advantage of a long range shooting center is lost.
Defense – 2/4
Wood sneaks up to a “4” for potential on the shot blocking savvy he already displays. Everything else looks below average, but again, he’s the last line of defense on a goat rodeo of a Rockets team, so he’s almost always going to look the worst with a team that generally defends well for 15 seconds, until they make a glaring error.
Best Case Comparison
Toronto Chris Bosh.