Detroit Pistons: Signing Christian Wood long-term is a priority

Since the Detroit Pistons shocked the league by trading Andre Drummond in the last hour of the NBA trade deadline, it’s been young Christian Wood benefitting the most.

It wasn’t the fact that the Detroit Pistons traded Andre Drummond, it was expected, well until deadline day and the word became that the team was more likely going to keep Andre Drummond as the NBA trade deadline expired.  The most shocking part of this wasn’t that Andre moved, it was that he moved to Cleveland.  Yes, that Cleveland.  The lottery hopeful Cavaliers.

The move signals a much-needed rebuild.  Andre Drummond would have had the option to opt-in to a $28 million season next year.  That move prevented the Detroit Pistons from remaining one-dimension and cap stricken for another year.

The Detroit Pistons are one of just a handful of teams with cap space next summer.  Hopefully, the organization has time to reflect on previous regimes understanding just because you have cap space doesn’t mean you need to spend it, only to spend it.  The perfect example was when the Detroit Pistons signed both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva back in 2009. The Pistons should hold off on large spending until the 2021 offseason when a plethora of talent is expected to hit the open market.

It’s been a whirlwind of emotion this season when it comes to the Pistons.  It was what I thought to be a very successful offseason for Ed Stefanski as he re-tooled the talent throughout the organization. Still, various injuries have hampered the teams’ success.

With the team well out of the playoff race, we’ve set our sights on the NBA draft lottery.  Detroit currently sits with the fourth-best odds to land the first overall pick this summer.  It appears the team will wind up with a top-five pick but an excellent chance to land a top-three pick.  In the NBA, picking top-three is very important.  Sure, you can find talent throughout the draft, but the chances of adding a franchise-caliber talent seems to decrease when a team picks outside the top-three significantly.

Another offseason priority is re-signing forward/center Christian Wood.  It wasn’t that long ago we were all lobbying for Christian Wood to make the final roster, now we beg the Pistons to sign the playmaker long-term.

Christian Wood does it all.  He blocks shots, rebounds the basketball, loves to dunk in tight, and can score with a mid-range jumper along with having the ability to shoot an effective three.  He’s a guy who hustles back in transition rather than lobbying an official for a call on a missed shot in the offensive zone.  His constant effort is a breath of fresh air.

When you look at the Detroit Pistons 2020 pending free agents, Christian Wood is the one who stands out.  He’s averaging 11.2 points along with 5.7 boards in just 19 minutes/game this season.  That being said, over his last six games he’s averaged 33.3 minutes, 19.7 points, 9.8 boards, 1 block while shooting 54.4% from the field and 44% from beyond the arc.

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He’s posted those numbers as he’s been way more involved with Andre Drummond having moved on.  Wood is a player that will see a significant raise this summer from his $1.5 million salary this season.  Expect Wood to command around $15 million this summer, and the Detroit Pistons would be very wise to pay it.