Christian Wood agrees to 3-year, $41-million deal with Rockets on first day of free agency

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II
| Detroit Free Press

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UPDATE: This deal is reportedly part of an expanded sign-and-trade.

Entering this offseason, Christian Wood held the distinction as being the most talented — and possibly most coveted — Detroit Pistons unrestricted free agent in recent memory. 

On Friday, the Pistons couldn’t reach an agreement with Wood to keep the big man in Detroit. 

Wood will sign a three-year, $41-million contract with the Houston Rockets once teams are allowed to sign players on Monday, according to ESPN. Reports are the Pistons are involved as part of a sign-and-trade deal, expanding Wednesday’s draft night deal that included the No. 16 overall pick.

Sorting through Pistons’ wild and confusing Day 1 of NBA free agency ]

The new contract solidifies Wood’s place in the NBA following an extended journey that unexpectedly saw him emerge as one of the Pistons’ best players last season. 

NBA free agency and trade rumor mill: Live updates ]

After going undrafted in 2015, Wood bounced between NBA and G League teams before being claimed off waivers by the Pistons in the summer of 2019. Detroit waived longtime NBA shooting guard Joe Johnson to keep Wood for the 2019-20 season to fortify their frontcourt depth. 

More Pistons free agency coverage:

• Pistons adding Jerami Grant, their biggest splash yet in free agency spree

• Pistons to sign Mason Plumlee in first move of free agency

• Josh Jackson heading home, as Pistons to sign ex-lottery pick

Wood flourished as a bench player for most of the season, averaging 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game over 62 games. He saw his role expand and flourished after the organization dealt Andre Drummond before the Feb. 6 trade deadline. 

In the 13 games between the trade deadline and the NBA’s suspension on March 11, Wood logged 11 starts and averaged 22.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, two assists and a block in 34.2 minutes. He made 56.2% of his shots and 40% of his 3s, establishing himself as one of the NBA’s most versatile and efficient big men. 

It’s a small sample size, but it was enough to position Wood for a major pay raise. And on Friday, he got one. 

MARKS: Grading Pistons’ NBA draft: Two A’s and a whole lot of hope

WANTED: Why Pistons chose Killian Hayes to lead rebuild

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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