The former Houston Rocket big man was recently traded to the Dallas Mavericks, but it wasn’t always easy for him. In 2015, Christian Wood went undrafted and was dumped by his then-girlfriend in the same week.
On Wednesday 15 June, sources reported that the Dallas Mavericks had acquired center/power forward Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets. The 26-year-old has had an interesting NBA journey so far, and it got off to the worst possible start.
Mavs acquire Christian Wood from Rockets
The Dallas Mavericks have acquired Wood in the hopes that he’ll match well with superstar Luka Doncic. The franchise has acquired Wood in exchange for the No. 26 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, as well as Boban Marjanovic, Marquese Chriss, Trey Burke and Sterling Brown.
Wood averaged 19.1 points and 9.9 rebounds during his two seasons with the Rockets, and is due to make $14.3 million for the 2022-23 season, the final year of his contract.
He originally went undrafted in the 2015 NBA draft
Wood played college basketball for the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and was originally projected to be drafted late in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft.
However, as the draft drew closer, question marks around Wood’s work ethic begun to swirl around front offices around the league. Wood’s draft stock ultimately took a hit and he fell to second round projections.
Wood had rented an event space on draft night at Caesar’s Palace and had invited a few dozen family and friends. However, his worst nightmare became a reality and he went uncalled in the second round.
At the time a photo of a distraught Wood with his head in his hands went viral:
Wood was dumped by his girlfriend shortly after
Things quickly went from bad to worse for Wood.
During the week of the draft his then-girlfriend flew to Las Vegas to help him celebrate, but after going undrafted it was the last time he ever saw her.
“I lost my girlfriend that night, too,” Wood said in an interview with The Ringer. “I dropped her off at the airport after the draft and never saw her again.”
Thankfully he was able to bounce back
Things did not immediately pick up for Wood. He joined the Houston Rockets for the summer league in 2015, before signing with the Philadelphia 76ers. He then found himself out of the league and playing in the Chinese Basketball Association in 2017, but was waived by the Fujian Sturgeons.
After making it back to the NBA and playing with the Hornets, Pelicans and Bucks, he finally settled in Detroit where he made a name for himself. He averaged 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 62 games for Detroit before signing a three-year, $41 million contract with the Rockets last year.
Now he finds himself on a contender with the Mavs who just made it to the Western Conference Finals. Wood fits in perfectly with how the Mavericks like to play and will likely take the starting center role which has been largely vacant since the Mavs traded away Kristaps Porzingis.
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