Lakers Add Former 1st Round Pick in the Wake of Christian Wood Injury

Lakers' Christian Wood defends

Getty Christian Wood #35 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends Sam Hauser #30 of the Boston Celtics.

The Los Angeles Lakers are adding Hary Giles III on a two-way deal, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, for frontline depth in the wake of Christian Wood‘s injury.

Wood (left knee effusion) has been out since February 22 as he joined another Lakers frontcourt player Jarred Vanderbilt (right midfoot sprain) and two-way player Colin Castleton (fractured right wrist) on the sidelines.

The Lakers are thin on the frontcourt for the stretch run with only Anthony Davis and Jaxson Hayes alternating as their centers.

The 25-year-old Giles will join the Lakers on Monday, per ESPN, taking over the two-way spot of Dylan Windler, who was waived to make way for the roster move. However, Giles will only be available for the remainder of the regular season. Two-way players are not eligible to make the team’s playoff roster.

Giles, a former Duke standout who was the 20th overall pick in 2017, was waived by the Brooklyn Nets last month. The 6-foot-11 forward-center averaged 3.4 points on 50% shooting and 1.6 rebounds in 5.1 minutes in 16 games this season.

Christian Wood Gifts His Mother a House

Before his unfortunate injury, Wood fulfilled a decade-old promise he made to his mother, Jeanette Stewart.

On New Year’s Day, Wood proudly shared on X (formerly Twitter) the house he bought as a gift to his mom with the help of the $500,000 cash prize he received from the Lakers’ In-Season Tournament title run.

“Life goal [checked],” Wood said. “[I] promised my mom at 18 with no money I would get her the house of her dreams before I’m 30. Fast forward to now, I did that!!! I love you [infinity emoji]!”

After Wood went undrafted in 2015, it was his mother who encouraged him to not give up on his NBA dream.

Stewart comforted his distraught son who came to her with the bad news.

“He said, ‘Mom, I’m sorry, I’m a failure.’ I said, ‘You’re not a failure. That doesn’t make you a failure because you went on undrafted,’” Stewart said in a USA Today story in 2016. “‘Let me tell you, God works in mysterious ways and has a plan for you. I said what you’re going to do is put your head up high. Put your head up high and wipe away those tears, because from this point you’re going to go forth in your career and you’re going to be OK.’”

Wood worked his way up from toiling in the G League to becoming an NBA journeyman.

He joined the Lakers on a 2-year, $5.7 million deal this past summer.

D’Angelo Russell Reflects on LeBron James’ Impact

D’Angelo Russell reflected on the profound impact he’s had on his generation, and especially on his career.

“He’s the first person I saw play in the NBA, to be honest,” Russell revealed to reporters after James scored 31 points, carrying them down the stretch to a 134-131 overtime win against the Washington Wizards on February 29.

Russell recalled he remembered crying when his father took him to his first NBA game to watch James live and did his signature dunk.

“Seeing him do it, I remember crying vividly and that was when I was like ‘This is where I want to be.’ So he’s inspired me without even knowing it,” Russell said.

“He’s continuing to inspire the youth, his teammates. But the youth as a whole everybody kind of looks up to a guy like him the way he paves the way for us on and off the floor.  [He’s] just a true role model so I’m not surprised by anything he’s doing. I won’t be surprised by anything he’s continuing to do and the sky is really the limit for him and what he’s done for this game.”

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