Going into the NBA Draft, there are few under-the-radar names to keep an eye on. One of which is UNLV sophomore, Christian Wood, who is starting to garner a lot of interest amongst NBA teams.
There hasn’t been a lot of hype surrounding Wood. This can be attributed to the Rebels lackluster seasons during his tenure with the school. However, he is one of the better prospects of the 2015 draft class.
Coming out of high school, Wood was ranked as the 36th best player in the class of 2013 according to Rivals.com. He led Findlay Prep to a 35-1 record his senior season, with the team’s lone loss coming in the semifinals of the ESPN National High School Invitational.
Wood blossomed during his sophomore campaign at UNLV with averages of 15.7 points, 10 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. In addition, he shot an astounding .497 percent from the field. Wood’s shooting numbers would much more prolific if he focused more on his game-changing jump shot and less on his three-point shooting. He took 2.7 shots from beyond the arc and only hit at a .284 rate.
Aside from his sometimes questionable shooting decisions, Wood has frequent defensive lapses. Some say he has an inconsistent motor, and tends to slack on certain possessions.
Wood also needs to add muscle to his 6’11 frame if he is going to handle the rigors of a playing against NBA veterans. His current listed weight is 220 lbs., so he could stand to gain 15 or 20 lbs. before the start of his rookie year.
The current draft projection for Wood is late 1st round, with many mock drafts having him fall around the 22-27 range. Many scouts compare his game to John Henson, but have gone as far to say he is a poor man’s Anthony Davis because of his ability to shoot the ball and attack the basket.
It’s worth noting that Wood is only 19, and there is still much more time for development. He has already shown that he has an incredibly potent jumper to go along with a wide array of post moves. While there are some aspects of his game that need to be developed, adding muscle, three-point shooting, and giving a consistent effort to name a few, he is still one of the more interesting names on draft boards.
So, Keep an eye out for Christian Wood, because he might be one of the best kept secrets of the 2015 Draft.