I would argue that Wood is an above average defender to say the least. Opponents FG% drops by 2.5 when defended by Wood compared to their average FG% number.
That''s not an honest representation of it IMO. Wood is an okay defender. Not good, not bad, Okongwu projects to be an elite defender. Wood is also 25 - Okongwu is 19
Just because Okongwu is younger than Wood, it doesn't mean that he has a higher upside as well. Here's a list of all the players in the league last season under 25 years old putting up 20+ points and 10+ rebounds per 36 minutes.
What are peopleís thoughts on Christian Wood?It would be cheaper and easier to get Okongwu than to get any promising big already in the league, and he has a higher upside than most of them.
Wood is a 2-way player, whereas Okongwu is just a rim runner. He's nowhere near the player Wood is on the offensive side of the floor.
- He protects the rim (posted the numbers above).
- He's an elite pick n roll defender (posted the numbers above).
- He can play D on the perimeter.
- He even allows 0.78 PPP in post-up plays, which ranks in the 74.1 percentile.
The advanced defensive metrics suggest that he's an above average defender as well.
RAPTOR: +2.6 (this is waaaay above average)
Don't get me wrong, he ain't as good as Okongwu projects to be on defense. My point is that Wood is a 2-way player, whereas Okongwu is just a rim runner.
No doubt, I think Wood is probably an above average defender. I just don't think he's neither elite nor well-suited to defend the bruising 5s, and I also am skeptical over his sample size.
I would prefer Okongwu for a number of reasons. In a big man for this team I would like someone who is a great rebounder and defender, and a decent passer, in that order. Great defence can be sacrificed if they have the size to bang with the huge guys that give us trouble. I don't think Wood fits into any of those categories.
He's a great offensive player, undoubtedly. Scores easily, can shoot, and doesn't turn it over. However, his passing is pretty mediocre, he's merely a solid rebounder and a solid-to-good defender. I think his skill-set is similar to John Collins', another guy I really like but think would be redundant on this team.
Compared to guys like Vucevic (elite rebounder, scorer and passer), Gobert (all-time level defender and elite rebounder) or Valanciunas (elite rebounder and decent defender), or even youngsters like Okongwu (defence and rebounding) or Wiseman (rebounding and freakish athleticism) I just don't like the fit of Wood with this current roster.
I'm very apprehensive about a 215lbs starting 5 when we just got exposed on the inside