Christian Wood gives major update on his future with Lakers

Christian Wood says he hopes to stay in L.A. Long-Term

The Los Angeles Lakers made a significant addition to their roster in the recent offseason by signing free agent center Christian Wood. His arrival had been eagerly anticipated, with rumors of mutual interest between Wood and the Lakers circulating for several weeks before the deal was finally completed. Wood inked a two-year contract, with the second year having a player option, at the veteran minimum salary.

Being a native of Long Beach, Wood is well-suited to the culture of L.A. and fits naturally into the team’s current roster. The Lakers were in need of an additional backup center, especially since Anthony Davis had expressed a desire to play more as a power forward, opening up opportunities for Wood and Jaxson Hayes to log playing time.

For Wood, this isn’t just a short-term stint; he sees it as a chance to establish a lasting presence in the NBA. He expressed his desire to make the Lakers his long-term home, citing his personal connection to the team as a Long Beach native who grew up watching them, idolizing Kobe Bryant.

Wood elaborated on why he felt the Lakers were the right choice for him, highlighting his familiarity with Coach Darvin Ham and his relationship with Lakers’ management, particularly Rob Pelinka. He emphasized the strong bond he had developed with Ham during his time in the G League several years ago and how Ham had been a mentor and supporter in his journey to greatness.




Wood is aware that his performance and attitude during his time with the Lakers will be crucial, especially considering his past experiences with other teams. If he excels, he could potentially command a higher salary in the following season, which might pose financial challenges for the Lakers, similar to situations involving players like Malik Monk and Dennis Schroder.

Signing players like Wood to minimum contracts puts the Lakers in a situation where they have limited bargaining power. If he doesn’t prove his worth, the Lakers may not want to retain him, but if he exceeds expectations, they might struggle to afford his services.

For now, Wood is focused on contributing to the Lakers in the 2023-24 season and being a positive influence in the team’s locker room.

In terms of his performance in training camp, Coach Ham commended Wood for his dedication to defense. Wood’s attention to detail, desire to excel defensively, and active participation in defensive drills, pick-and-roll situations, and scrimmages were particularly noteworthy. His ability to switch positions, defend against guards, excel in rebounding, and block shots showcased his strong engagement on the defensive side of the game.

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