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Wood's Mavs Future Hinges on Season

What are the chances Christian Wood sticks with the Dallas Mavericks beyond this season?

Over the past few months, the Dallas Mavericks experienced a plenty of change. In June, the team upgraded their frontcourt with the addition of former Houston Rockets big man Christian Wood

Two weeks later, Dallas lost its second-leading scorer Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency. 

So, what are the chances Wood replaces Brunson's offensive production? And could Wood be out the door after this season, like Brunson?

Smoking Cuban's Tyler Watts answered the latter, as he discussed what Wood must do for Dallas to avoid another Brunson dilemma.

"Wood needs to improve his defense and maintain his counting stats while helping the Mavericks win games," Watts wrote. "It is a simple recipe for the 26-year-old to receive a massive payday, but his role will play a significant factor in his production."

Last season, Wood struggled on the defensive end, as he finished the year with a 115.7 defensive rating. More than 500 players finished with a better rating. 

Some areas of concern included his inability to lock down taller opponents. D Magazine's Iztok Franko reported that Wood had "the worst post defender among all centers over the last two seasons and seventh-worst among opponent field goal percentage at the rim."  

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However, when placed in pick-and-roll and isolation opportunities, he fared better against smaller players. 

"The 6’10 forward will have to play defense and stay engaged if he wants to play 30-plus minutes per game," Watts wrote. "Nobody is questioning his talent or ability to produce numbers, but the Mavericks need Wood to help them win." 

This season, Wood is due $14,317,459 in the final year of his contract. If he can help Luka Doncic duplicate last season's success, then he should have no problem signing an extension with Dallas. 

"Assuming Wood is locked in and takes his game to another level in the first winning situation of his NBA career, he will earn a massive payday this summer," Watts wrote. 

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