Free Agent Profile: Christian Wood
Coming into the NBA season, no one expected Christian Wood to have the breakout year he has had. Not only has the 6′ 10′ big man been a rare bright spot for the Detroit Pistons, but the four-year UNLV product is also starting to hit his stride in the NBA. With Wood’s contract expiring, he is going to be one of the more sought after free-agents this year due to his brimming potential. With that in mind, there are a few teams who should set their sights on Christian Wood in order to bolster their roster.
Christian Wood: A Surprise Out of Nowhere
As alluded to already, Wood has had a breakout season. Despite the Pistons being relatively disappointing, he has stepped up in the absence of Andre Drummond who was traded at the trade deadline and Blake Griffin who has struggled with injuries all year. This season, Wood is tallying 13.1 points on a career-high 56.7 percent shooting from the field to go along with 6.3 total rebounds per game. Not to mention, he has been true on 38.6 percent of his three-point shots as well. As a result, it provides him the ability to stretch the defense, a nice commodity for a big man, and one that is needed in today’s NBA. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the teams who could use Christian Wood’s services.
Candidate #1: Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have been a contender for the past few years now. An impressive feat considering the plethora of roster changes they have gone through. However, there is still one area of weakness for the Celtics as of right now. They lack a lengthy big man who can easily provide solid value on a game by game basis. Wood checks all those boxes. The Celtics seem to be the most ideal candidate for him right now as they not only give him a better chance of winning, they also have a need for him making this potential match one made in heaven. Plus, he would fit right in with Boston’s young up and coming core.
Candidate #2: Detroit Pistons
Of course, the Pistons themselves would be smart to try and retain Wood. With Drummond gone and Griffin aging, now is the time to find young talent to rebuild around. Why not Christian Wood? After all, he has provided them with solid play this year and shown massive improvement while in a Detroit jersey. For all we know, it is Wood’s destiny to be the next chosen one for the Pistons. If Detroit was really ambitious, they could even cut ties with Griffin freeing up extra minutes for Wood to play and thus, continue to develop.
Candidate #3: Toronto Raptors
With it likely that Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol are going to leave Toronto, that leaves a void in the Toronto Raptors’ frontcourt. Insert Christian Wood. Like the Celtics, Wood would almost be a perfect fit for them. Not to mention, he will be playing with playoff seasoned and proven champions to help mentor him as well. Imagining a frontcourt of Christian Wood and Pascal Siakam is scary to think about if you are an opposing team. That duo right there would make them a top-five frontcourt in the league. If the Raptors cannot retain Gasol or Ibaka, then they should be serious front-runners for Wood’s services.
Candidate #4: Denver Nuggets
This may seem like an odd candidate, but hear me out. The Nuggets are in need of a more consistent backup to Nikola Jokic. If they could land Wood, it would be a no brainer to cut Mason Plumlee loose and let Wood learn from the Joker. Of course, that would mean he would have to be willing to take on a bench role. However, he is technically a power forward, so he could still find himself in the starting rotation. Especially with Paul Millsap getting older, which could mean he will be willing to take a step back and take on a more reserved role.
There are a lot of “what-ifs,” in this scenario where Wood signs with Denver, but if it works out, it could make the Nuggets an even more lethal squad. Regardless, whatever team does land Christian Wood in free agency is going to be receiving a solid big-man who is starting to hit his stride and possesses a ton of potential.
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