With Harden now out the door, the Rockets can finally move in a new direction. It has became one traumatic experience dealing with a superstar that has glared that he wanted out. As the future is finally ahead, there’s one player that the Rockets organization can move forward with; Christian Wood.
The Detroit Pistons certainly fumbled the bag when they allowed Wood to walk away during free agency. Could we just imagine a possible trio of Wood, Jerami Grant, and Blake Griffin? It would have certainly put Detroit in a better direction as far as playoff bound. Wood was able to showcase what he was truly made of when he was inserted into the starting lineup last season. Putting on the performances he displayed, people would’ve thought that he’d be the first signing option for the Pistons.
Everything seems to happen for a reason though. Wood is now on a more complete team with a chance to grab a playoff spot by the end of this season. So far, he has been phenomenal to say the least. His performances have been top notch that his name has surfaced in the Most Improved Player contention. The trading of James Harden may open up newer opportunities for Wood to perform at an even higher level than before.
Wood is averaging 22.6 points while grabbing 9.5 rebounds along the way. He has shot very efficient from the field with his 53% field goal percentage. Playing with two dynamic playmakers in Harden and John Wall has allowed Wood to get clearances and openings around the basket. It has been career highs across the stat sheet for Wood this season and his effort has been appreciated in the city of Houston.
So why would the Rockets want to build around Christian Wood? The answer is why not? The kid is 25 years of age who hasn’t potentially even hit his prime yet. It would be insane to build around an aging John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, despite their high level of play through the start of this season. Wood can benefit off of playing alongside Cousins and Wood through the next couple of years. Not to mention the team did grab Victor Oladipo in the Harden trade as well. Their veteran experience along with their rugged play on the floor can give Wood a different mentality on how he approaches the game.
The question now for Wood is how bad does he want to continue to develop. Does he want to take that extra step in his game or would he rather sit back and be a contributing role. His talent is top notch and it cannot be ignored. When Wood puts the ball on the floor it only allows his game to become more versatile than it once was. Houston can be his city to grow as a player and a leader. It is just about if Wood wants to take on that challenge.
James Harden is definitely a big loss. It is always somewhat difficult to trade away your superstar caliber player to another franchise. But, unfortunately, it was a move that was meant to be made. Now the Rockets potentially have Christian Wood to build upon years to come. Wood’s future in Houston will be based how the team utilizes his talent and help him develop into a more complete player.