2. Christian Wood
Christian Wood broke out in the 2019-20 season with the Detroit Pistons, where he was able to gain a starting role (which led to the Pistons’ decision to trade Andre Drummond), and finally carve out a more permanent spot in the league after hopping around teams and spending some time in the G League. In the 3 seasons since, Christian Wood has averaged 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, showing his offensive prowess. The 6-foot-10 forward looked like a future star in Houston, but his time with the Dallas Mavericks was much less fruitful. Wood was projected to be a key player for the Mavs, but only averaged 25.9 minutes per game and started just 17 of his 67 games. He still averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on 51.5/37.6/77.2 shooting splits.
Wood’s offensive presence is undisputable, as he has proven to be a versatile scorer and is excellent in the pick-and-roll, as he showed with Luka Doncic. However, there is a question about his defense. Wood was unable to get into the starting lineup effectively because of his poor defending, which is also likely the reason why he still has not been signed. Wood would be an interesting addition to the Chicago Bulls, as they have proven to be a really solid defensive team, as they had the 5th best defensive rating last season. This was propelled by defensive-oriented role players like Alex Caruso, Patrick Beverley, and Patrick Williams, who were able to make up for the lack of rim protections that the Bulls had with Nikola Vucevic at center. Because the Chicago Bulls have added some really solid defensive pieces in Carter and Craig as well, they could make the move to sacrifice some defending and add another scorer to the team. This could be necessary as the Bulls have struggled with some offensive inconsistencies, as they heavily rely on Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic to score the ball, and when their shots aren’t falling, the Bulls are doomed.
It was initially thought that Christian Wood would be an expensive free agent signing, going for around $25 million a year. However, his market seems to be diminishing and the Bulls could swoop in and sign him for cheap, potentially keeping the Chicago Bulls under the luxury tax. Christian Wood could be a solid stretch 4 with Chicago, but they may be giving up too much rim protection, combining Wood and Vucevic at the big man spots. If Chicago is able to get him for cheap, however, it would be worth considering a contract for the 27-year-old.