Yet, it’s the recent success of the Chicago Bulls that has made everybody sit up and take note. Unlike the Heat, Nets, or Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago has four genuine All-Star talents on its team and has reaped the benefits when healthy. It makes sense then, that the Heat has begun looking to add another All-Star caliber player to its own rotation, and is reported to be keen on the Houston Rockets Christian Wood.
“The 26-year-old has been subject to interest around the league, and sources say Miami has been one of the more persistent teams in engaging with Houston on the versatile big man,” Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported in a recent article.
Throughout his career, Wood has proven capable of operating at both the power forward position and the center spot, and until 2020-21, saw more time on the wing than he did roaming the middle of the floor, per Basketball-Reference. Miami’s Bam Adebayo is more of a modern-day center, and would likely continue starting in that position should the Heat get their man.
However, Wood’s ability to stretch a defense with his three-point shooting, and run the floor at pace would fit Miami’s style of play and could open up further room in the mid-range area for Adebayo to dictate play with his now patented high-post hand-off game.
Miami Would Become Conference Favorites
We’ve all witnessed how one extra All-Star caliber player has galvanized the Bulls. Rather than relying on a big three, Chicago has trotted out line-ups that regularly consist of Lonzo Ball, Zach Lavine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic – all talented ballers in their own right.
But a starting five that includes Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Christian Wood, and possibly Tyler Herro is as versatile as it comes, and when you factor in Duncan Robinson as the bench scorer, Miami quickly becomes a fearsome prospect moving forwards.
Of course, the Heat aren’t situated first in their conference as a stroke of luck. Miami’s current roster is more than capable of making a deep playoff run and pushing the other contending teams to their limits.
But we’re all well aware of Pat Rileys propensity to strike deals that put his team over the top, and a potential move for Wood fits the bill, while also securing a future asset once the team inevitably hits the reset button in a year or two.
Any Deal For Wood ‘Unlikely’
Despite Miami’s rumored persistence and interest in the Rockets big man, Iko’s report stated that any deal before the trade deadline seems unlikely.
“But barring a blow-me-away offer, Wood should remain in Houston past the deadline, sources tell The Athletic. He’s averaging 17.5 points and a career-best 10.3 rebounds per game.”
“The Rockets have made it clear what their priorities are right now: Continue to develop their young backcourt of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., as well as the other young players around them,” Iko detailed, “One of the main reasons Houston drafted an unprecedented four rookies during the 2021 NBA Draft was to have the chance to develop four young players into quality rotational pieces.”
Houston is amidst a serious rebuild, which means they would be unlikely to be enticed by Duncan Robinson who recently signed a contract extension, or Tyler Herro who is a free agent at the end of next season. As such, it’s difficult to see how Miami could make the money work in a potential trade without involving a third team or selling Houston on one of Herro or Robinson. Of course, stranger things have happened in the NBA, and deals like this happen all the time.
With two weeks remaining until the February 10 trade deadline, there’s plenty of time for a deal to be struck, otherwise, we can expect the Heat to revisit a potential trade for Wood during the off-season.