In a video posted to his Twitter page, and then a subsequent tweet, UNLV big man Christian Wood has declared for this year’s NBA draft.
It’s a bit of a surprising decision. Wood only just finished his sophomore season, and the Runnin’ Rebels failed to make the big dance in each of his seasons with the team. In 2015, UNLV went 18-15 (8-10 Mountain West) and finished seventh in the Mountain West Conference.
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that in spite of his team’s shortcomings, Christian Wood can PLAY. He has excellent size at 6’11”, 220 pounds and posted highly respectable averages of 15.7 points, a team best 10 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Wood also shot just under 50 percent from the field.
Just where he’s selected on draft day remains to be seen. Nbadraft.net currently projects him as a late first round pick, as does DraftExpress. ESPN’s Chad Ford has him ranked No. 27 on his latest Big Board and also projects him to be selected in the same position.
Of course, despite how well he played at UNLV, Wood has his flaws. He’s way too skinny to make an immediate impact, and will need to bulk up in order to compete with top post guys in the NBA. Still, given his work ethic and drive to succeed, some seem to think that his stock will rise as draft day draws closer.
Smart move by UNLV's Christian Wood. His stock will rise by June. Young, athletic and 6-11. Terrific long-range big man. Looks like a pro.
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) April 23, 2015
That said, in a draft class full of high profile names like Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, among others, Wood’s is one that could fly under the radar up until the big day and ultimately be the surprise of the draft. He doesn’t project as much more than a rotational guy at this moment, but his name is still going to be one to watch over the next two months.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports