The Mavericks doubt about the future of Wood: renewal or transfer

As the season progresses, the next one is planned. It is a common trend in sports, anticipation in the market. In Dallas, reinforcements are being requested to help Luka Doncic, squeezed by the help he has, and the management has been making small-scale movements for three years. In a second level of quality for what would be a guarantee companion for the Slovenian was the fit of Kristaps Porzingis, first for him to arrive and then for him to leave. Christian Wood went to Dallas as a replacement for the Latvian, a player who needed a greater challenge than those proposed to him in Detroit or Houston to prove his worth. It is in those, but his contract and his renewal aspirations may be his grave.

Marc Stein reports on stack the takeoff of the negotiations. And from the franchise side it starts strong. The fuse is short on this occasion: if something is not agreed before February, because the date to close the market is the 9th day of that month, a transfer will be sought for Wood. And Doncic would have to start over.

Entering the head of Nico Harrison and Mark Cuban, the logic to send this ultimatum is the following. They do not want a repeat of the escape from last summer, in which Jalen Brunson accepted New York’s offer after the step forward taken last year alongside Doncic. Wood ends his contract when the current season ends and the transfer, if it occurs, would serve to take something in exchange for a pivot for whom, in addition, they have opted as one of the faces of the project. In return, they would look for another ingredient from the same branch for that dish. Brunson’s signing by the Knicks has added even more reluctance for the Mavericks, who are not known for opening their hands easily, to negotiate with their actors.

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Stein also provides relevant information. “The Rockets found the market limited until, before the draft, the Mavericks were interested”, in reference to the difficulty of finding a place for this 27-year-old interior in another team. It is yet another problem. The contract he signed there, in Houston, was for $41 million for three seasons of service and was considered by some analysts to be exaggerated for a player who had stood out for only one year. In 2022/23 he is averaging 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds with remarkable percentages in field goals, 62% in those with two and 38% in those with three, but it is the long term that is not convincing in the Dallas offices. Since ESPNby the hand of Brian Windhorst, points out another detail to take into account. “The Mavs are interested in extending him just two years, which at the peak would give him $36 million. That would give the player security and preserve the flexibility of the team, which would have an important salary space in 2025., about the difference in criteria between the two parties due to Wood’s request that the new agreement be for four years. After these positions were leaked, Cuban, the owner of the team, has come to the fore on the official NBA website to state that the intention is to keep the player, not transfer him (“It gives us a dynamic that we haven’t had in a long time, it has really helped us a lot”, ”Luka [Doncic] he can trust him, they understand each other much better than before and the chemistry has been nice to see”, “He can post, attack, shoot three, block and rebound”).

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