The Mavericks could have their hand forced to explore a trade for Christian Wood.
Plus D’Angelo Russell may have dropped a major hint on his future plans.
Catch up on all of the latest whispers in our NBA Rumour Mill!
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MAVS TO EXPLORE WOOD TRADE IF NO EXTENSION REACHED
The Dallas Mavericks will explore the trade market for Christian Wood if the two parties can’t agree on a contract extension, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.
Wood, who’s in the final season of a three-year, $41 million deal he originally signed with the Houston Rockets, can become an unrestricted free agent next off-season.
Stein reports the Mavs have engaged with the big man on extension talks, however there remains some obstacles, including the NBA’s extension rules.
Wood is only eligible for a $77 million deal over four years because the amount a player can earn is based on their prior salary, with his current contract well below market value.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports Dallas’ preference is to give Wood a two-year, $36 million pact – although the 27-year old could undoubtably get more on the open market given his current play despite previous questions around his attitude and defensive shortcomings
The Mavericks have gone 6-2 since Wood joined their starting line-up last month including a current six-game winning streak to climb into the West’s fourth seed, with the centre averaging 23.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3.4 triples and three blocks over his last five contests.
Dallas faced a similar situation with Jalen Brunson last year, not offering him an extension until free agency and leading to his $104 million signing with the New York Knicks over four seasons where he’s blossomed in a leading role.
The Mavs wouldn’t want to a repeat of that with Wood, who they acquired from Houston over the off-season for a package centred around a first-round pick, after he’s grown into a key part of their team alongside Luka Doncic – a team that could already use more star power.
Wood himself is in a great spot on one of the premier sides in the West, so it’s likely in everyone’s best interests to reach an extension. But when, or if, that happens, is currently unclear.
RUSSELL UNFOLLOWS WOLVES TO FURTHER FUEL TRADE RUMOURS
Is this the sign that D’Angelo Russell is on the verge of an exit from the Minnesota Timberwolves?
Russell has potentially dropped a major hint on his future by unfollowing the team on social media to further swirl trade rumours.
The star guard has been below his best form this season for the 18-21 Wolves, who’ve underwhelmed after being touted as a dark horse to come out of the Western Conference going into the campaign.
Minnesota currently sits 11th in the Western Conference as its move for Rudy Gobert has so far failed to take them the team to the next level.
In the final season of a four-year, $117 million deal (AUD $173m) as Russell approaches unrestricted free agency, the former All-Star has averaged 16.8 points per game and 6.5 assists per contest.
It comes after NBA journalist Brian Windhorst said on his podcast last month the Timberwolves “need a veteran leader” and speculated they could offload on Russell to move in a different direction.
Windhorst also speculated the Wolves could reach out to the Miami Heat about a swap for Kyle Lowry, which lines up with rumours that surfaced weeks ago.
It’ll be one of the big watches as the NBA rumour mill continues to heat up ahead of the league’s February 10 trade deadline (AEDT).