Houston Rockets could trade starter as value peaks
The Houston Rockets are poised to be a much better team than they were in 2021. However, they still need to make a few more moves before they recognize a turnaround is on the way.
A gesture that seems to be counterproductive, but which would in fact help, is to evaluate the offers christian wood could bring to the commercial market.
Wood is coming off a great season that builds on the improvements he showed when he arrived with the Rockets. Houston’s main big man was able to improve his effectiveness from distance in 2021 while also showing up in 68 games, which is a welcome sight for a guy who needed to be on the court more.
Houston could let him roll with Wood for one more season and see if there’s any reason to consider keeping him beyond this current deal, but it looks like the best move might be to buy the youngster from 26-year-old who has all the traits that should make him a popular trade play this offseason.
Leaving Wood without a succession plan would be foolish, but Rockets fans need to recognize that Alperen Sengun gives the team a mountain of flexibility, especially since he can play more.
Wood could improve the team right now, but Sengun’s growth puts the team in a better position on the road. The Rockets need to have some confidence in the choices they’ve made and will continue to make in high volume going forward, and Wood doesn’t feel needed enough after the stellar rookie season we’ve seen from Sengun.
There’s also a chance that Houston will end up with a center in the next draft, and it seems unlikely to assume that Sengun would become the odd man out then. If the Rockets know who they want beyond a shadow of a doubt due to favorable lottery odds, Wood’s move could become almost guaranteed.
Christian Wood was great for two years. He brought a presence and stability the Rockets badly needed during these transitional years, but a trade is likely in the best interest of both parties before either side loses influence.
The Rockets may want to act sooner rather than later.