Since Troy Weaver took over as GM of the Detroit Pistons, he has taken several swings on low-risk/high-reward players.
They’ve mostly been busts so far, as guys like Dennis Smith Jr., Josh Jackson, Kevin Knox and RJ Hampton had uninspiring runs with the team, though Marvin Bagley III and James Wiseman are still pending and hoping to turn their careers around next season.
It’s a strategy that makes sense for a rebuilding team that has a hard time attracting high-end free agents, as the Pistons didn’t risk much and if just one of these players works out they would potentially have an impact talent on a lower contract.
Detroit has yet to do anything in free agency this offseason and still has an open roster spot. They could really use a big forward who can defend and stretch the floor, which is why some might be surprised that they let a potential low-risk/high-reward power forward pass by them in free agency.
Should the Detroit Pistons have signed Christian Wood?
Yesterday it was reported that former Piston Christian Wood had signed a two-year deal with the hated Lakers, the second of which is a player option.
The deal was worth just $5.7 million, which is wild considering that Wood is coming off a season when he averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game while spreading the floor as a power forward and small ball center who knocked down nearly 38 percent from long range.
On paper, he’s pretty close to what the Pistons need as a power forward who has proven he can shoot and block shots, so should they have taken a flyer given the price tag?
No, we’ve been down this road before
There is a reason why Wood had to take a lowball deal even though he is a very productive player in the prime of his career. He’s been on seven teams so far, including the Pistons, who were eager to jettison him.
This has been the case everywhere he’s been, as he has butted heads with coaches and drama seems to follow him, which is not something a young roster needs.
Since his second year is a player option, Wood would almost certainly be gone after one season and then Detroit would be back to square one while potentially limiting valuable developmental minutes for other guys.
Detroit is trying to build a culture and throwing a guy like Wood into the mix could have disrupted that for a player who would be likely to leave anyway and might not be happy taking a lesser role on a rebuilding team.
Sure, why not?
Wood has flamed out with a lot of teams so far, but if he was ever going to be motivated to have a good season, this would be it, as he has a ton to gain by producing on a Lakers team that has title aspirations.
A motivated Wood might be worth it on a minimum deal for one season, as having a power forward who can shoot and block shots would potentially help this team take the next step. If Wood were to leave after that, Detroit still could have gotten some valuable experience and potentially made the play-in.
Wood is certainly better than most of the minimum guys Detroit could sign, so why was Troy Weaver so shy about going after another low-risk/high-reward guy?
You’d have to ask him that, but my guess is that he doesn’t see Wood as a positive addition to the culture he is trying to build and he is perfectly happy going into next season with Isaiah Stewart as the starting power forward.