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Dallas Mavericks Coach Jason Kidd Confirms Christian Wood as 6th Man

Acquiring Christian Wood was the Dallas Mavericks’ biggest move over the offseason. However, head coach Jason Kidd says Wood will start the 2022-23 season by coming off the bench.

Although the Dallas Mavericks might have gotten slightly better on paper, they very much had an up-and-down offseason.

Before losing Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency, the Mavs traded the No. 26 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and a handful of end-of-the-bench players to the Houston Rockets for Christian Wood. He averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets while shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range.

However, although Wood is a clear frontcourt upgrade for Dallas and a near-perfect pick-and-roll partner for Luka Doncic, head coach Jason Kidd confirmed on Monday that he will start the season by coming off the bench as a sixth man.

“I don’t need him to be ‘The Microwave.’ I just need him to be C. Wood,” said Kidd after confirming the bench role.

One big reason for Wood coming off the bench is that the Mavs promised JaVale McGee the starting center position in order to sway him from signing elsewhere in free agency. Just because McGee will start the games doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll finish them, though. The closing lineup is what really matters most for the Mavs, and even the starting lineup can be fluid throughout the season, as Kidd proved last season.

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One has to wonder if Wood will be satisfied with a bench role or not due to how confident he is in his abilities. Even if he isn’t, though, it’s in Wood’s best interest to accept whatever role is thrown his way and thrive in it, given that he’s in a contract year.

If Wood just gives it his all like Kidd is asking for, he will flourish for the Mavs whether it’s off the bench or eventually as a starter … and he’ll likely be receiving a big pay day before it’s over as well.

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