Christian Wood Shows His Upside in Charlotte’s Third Preseason Game

Sep 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Christian Wood (35) poses for a portrait during media day at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Christian Wood (35) poses for a portrait during media day at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

After getting an opportunity in the Charlotte Hornets’ third preseason game, Christian Wood was able to showcase his ability, upside, and potential.

The Charlotte Hornets signed Christian Wood this offseason with the intention of developing the young big man. During the team’s third preseason game against the Boston Celtics, he was able to show exactly what he is capable of and the upside that intrigued many scouts. Wood had a nice all-around game and helped leave an impression on the coaches going forward.

The 21-year old big man scored a team-high 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and made one emphatic block. Christian’s athleticism was on full display as he made multiple dunks in the paint and had one of the best blocks of the preseason as well. He is trying to make his mark during the preseason and hopefully earn some regular season minute under Steve Clifford.

After going undrafted in 2015, Wood signed with the Philadelphia 76ers where he played in the D-League for the better half of his rookie season. The athletic big man raised the eyebrows of many teams around the NBA but Charlotte were the ones that signed him during the summer. With the installation of the Greensboro Swarm this season, the Hornets had a place to send young guys to get playing time and experience at the Developmental League level.

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Not only did Wood almost record a double-double but he did so in only 18 minutes of play. He also shot (5-10) 50% from the field and dished out one assist. After only playing nine minutes in each of the first two preseason games, Marvin Williams‘ absence in the third exhibition game opened up the spot for Christian against the Boston Celtics. Steve Clifford gave the young man a chance and he rewarded his head coach with some positive play on the court.

He hasn’t really had the chance to make a name for himself on the NBA level just yet as he only played in 17 games for the 76ers last season. The preseason is the best opportunity for young players like Wood to make their mark and get ample game action against other NBA level talents. Christian seems to be taking full advantage of the chance that he has been given by coach Clifford and the Hornets.

The former UNLV player is arguably the biggest question mark for the Hornets heading into the 2016-17 season. While he has plenty of upside, it is unclear what his role will be with the team this year. Christian may be battling for minutes but the unpredictable nature of the NBA may leave him with the Swarm in the D-League for most of the regular season.

Here’s a look at some of the athletic plays that Christian Wood made during the game against the Boston Celtics:

While it may be unclear what the team plans to do with Wood this season, there is no questioning his upside. The Long Beach, CA native probably has the most potential of any player on the Hornets’ roster. As the youngest player currently on the team, you can understand why while there is a major upside to his game, there are also plenty of question marks ahead.

The potential is clear but Wood is still a very raw prospect in terms of NBA level play. He has the athleticism to play with some of the best big men in the world but he needs to continue to develop other parts of his game. There are plenty of holes including offensive scoring in the post and movement/awareness on both ends of the floor that come with experience.

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It will be interesting to see what happens with Wood this season and if he plays with the Hornets or the Swarm. Steve Clifford is a great teach for Christian and Charlotte is the perfect team to develop and learn from. They will give the young big man plenty of time to develop into a contributing player and with the potential he has, that should be sooner rather than later.