A number of NBA teams remain interested in acquiring Houston Rockets big man Christian Wood this offseason, according to The Athletic's Kelly Iko:
"It’s obvious why teams have been intrigued with Wood in the past. He’s a unicorn of a big man. That interest hasn’t waned, even in the early weeks of the offseason, sources told The Athletic. Wood is talented enough to where the Rockets can’t let him walk without getting assets back if their tenure is headed for an ending."
Wood is set to make $14.3 million next season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The 26-year-old has elevated his game in each of his last two seasons in Houston. During the 2021-22 campaign, he averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.0 block per contest while shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from deep.
The first four seasons of Wood's career were shaky. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans, never averaging more than 12 minutes per game in that span, also spending long stretches in the G League, including all of 2017-18.
During 2019-20 with the Detroit Pistons, Wood took on more of a workload, averaging 21.4 minutes per game, and his time on the floor paid off as he averaged 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and nearly a block per game.
His best season came in 2020-21, when he averaged 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. That said, he elevated his defensive and playmaking abilities this year.
If the Rockets do trade Wood this summer, it's unclear if they would use their No. 3 pick in the 2022 draft to replace him. Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren, who is considered the best center in the class, could be selected before Houston is even on the clock.
If he's available when it's time for the Rockets to make a selection, Holmgren would likely be the team's best choice. ESPN's Jonathan Givony noted he would help Houston's defense, which ranked last in the NBA this year, and would be an "ideal fit" next to Jalen Green.
Otherwise, Alperen Sengun, a 2021 first-rounder, would probably be the next man up.
Sengun averaged 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 20.7 minutes per game as a rookie.