The Cleveland Cavaliers have already made quite the splash in free agency, at least in the role player department. Entering the offseason with four potential All-Stars limited what they could do and more consequentially, who they can sign.
While they have done a fantastic job filling in nearly all of their weaknesses, there is still one spot in the rotation that seems like it could use some work. The backup slot at center.
Right now, the center position has Jarrett Allen and Damian Jones with both Evan and two-way player Isaiah Mobley capable of sliding over. Assuming the younger of the two Mobley’s isn’t quite ready to take over the full-time responsibilities of the center position, it seems like a good idea to bring in another center who can play behind Jarrett Allen.
This is where Christian Wood comes in. According to a report from Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscription required), has Cavaliers have shown interest in Wood, and at this stage with him still unsigned, Wood could maybe be added via bargain deal in the short term.
What can Christian Wood bring to the table for the Cleveland Cavaliers?
After fighting and clawing his way into prominence after a rough start to his career, Wood is once again in a sticky situation regarding his career. At one point, he was expected to ink a huge multi-year contract this offseason, instead he is now struggling to convince any team to sign him for more than the minimum.
This is largely due to his complete and utter lack of anything positive on the defensive end.
While he is a very capable player on offense, and has had 16.6 and 17.9 points per game the past two seasons, this is completely countered by his defensive negatives, making him a non-impact player on most teams. However, if there is any team with the personnel to balance out Wood’s awful defense, it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Evan Mobley was a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year last season and should be the favorite to win the award this upcoming season. Pairing him on the floor with Wood in a zone defense and in the shot blocker position could work very well for the Cavaliers.
They could even use the typical defense they’ve used in the two-big lineups where the other big men guide ball handlers into Mobley. Either way, this still potentially opens the door for the mid-range game to be exploited or even a strong combination of dribble moves or off-ball movement.
The offense of Christian Wood, more specifically his shooting capabilities (37.9 percent from three lifetime) could unlock Evan Mobley on offense. But his limitations on defense could damage the defense of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
All things considered, though, one couldn’t necessarily blame Cleveland for signing Wood at this point.