The Detroit Pistons and the rest of the NBA are still waiting for the aftershocks of the Kyrie Irving trade that rocked the league and sent the mercurial superstar to Dallas.
Christian Wood is one player who could be affected by the move, and was almost part of it himself. Wood is in the middle of what has become a solid NBA career. So far this season, his first in Dallas, he is playing nearly 30 minutes a night, and contributing over 18 points and eight boards a game. He’s also shooting over 38 percent from downtown and playing strong brand of shot-blocking defense. Although he was initially brought off the bench when he began his tenure with the Mavericks to start the 2022-23 campaign, he managed to work his way into the starting lineup, and demonstrate to some that he was a capable second star to Luka Doncic. However, the stars have realigned with Dallas’s recent acquisition of Kyrie Irving? What does this mean for Wood?
Wood’s skillset different from star teammates
Playing third fiddle with Irving now in Dallas will certainly impact Wood’s usage, with some good and some bad elements to consider. The big man may get some easier buckets as opposing defenses are going to be losing their minds trying to keep up with both Irving and Doncic, and it may also mean getting some more wins. Wood has made it clear that he has no desire to be traded. Insider Marc Stein (SUBSCRIPTION) reported that the Mavs attempted to move Wood to Brooklyn rather than Dorian Finney-Smith as part of the deal that brought Irving to town. The Los Angeles Clippers have also been said to have interest in Wood, who could be looking for a new home if the rest of his tenure in Dallas is not to his liking.
With no long-term deal in place, could Wood be a target for the Detroit Pistons?
One reason Wood is on the verge of being moved is that he does not have a long-term deal in place with the Mavericks. He is in the final year of his contract and the two sides do not appear to be close to agreeing to an extension. It is looking increasingly likely that Wood, now 27-years-old, will be an unrestricted free agent come summertime. If that proves to be the case, would he consider returning to the city where he first established himself? If so, there is no denying that the Detroit Pistons could use a rim-protector, and his respectability with the 3-ball is yet one more skill they’re in short supply of.
The fit is questionable depending on what the Detroit Pistons do with their center situation, as Wood would undoubtedly want to start and that spot is currently held by rookie Jalen Duren, who plans on keeping it.
He looks like a long shot to return to Detroit depending on how the roster shakes out in the offseason, but he’ll be another free agent on the market and the Pistons will have plenty of money to spend.