Dallas head coach Jason Kidd wasted little time putting expectations on trade acquisition Christian Wood as the Mavericks opened training camp on Monday.
Wood, starting his seventh NBA season on a seventh team, was acquired in June for Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, Sterling Brown and the 26th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Wood had 34 double-doubles in each of his two seasons in Houston and is in the final year of a three-year, $41 million deal he signed as part of a sign-and-trade from the Detroit Pistons in 2020.
He averaged 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 50.7 percent from the field in 109 games with the Rockets, who signed him as a free agent prior to the 2020-21 season.
“My goal is to get him paid,” Kidd said of Wood. “Christian Wood is an All-NBA Player.”
Wood averaged a career-best 21 points per game in his first season with Houston but the influx of lottery picks made him expendable.
While Kidd said he wants Wood to achieve the type of contract given to Jalen Brunson by the Knicks in July, Wood will not be in the starting lineup to begin the regular season. Instead, he’ll captain the second unit and be used in a sixth man role.
Kidd predicted Wood will embrace the role and be the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.
“I don’t need him to be ‘The Microwave.’ I just need him to be C. Wood,” Kidd said.
Wood, who went undrafted after two seasons at UNLV, signed with the Philadelphia 76ers before the 2015-16 season.