Christian Wood, a young, emerging star who is also slated to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason tweeted out, “I want to win .” late Wednesday night.
I want to win .— Christian Wood (@Chriswood_5) June 4, 2020
Is the statement related to the frustration that he doesn’t get to finish out the season? Is it a broadside to an organization primed for a rebuild? Is it completely unrelated to anything specifically and simply the mindset of a young professional athlete?
We don’t know, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t freaking out the fan base.
That’s understandable, I suppose, as Wood was electric in the final months of the season, especially after getting a starting role after the trade of Andre Drummond. There has been little to root for in Detroit and Wood is a dynamic player that is offensively skilled as Drummond was offensively limited.
The fans want to root for him, and they certainly don’t want to see him go to another team.
But the Pistons do have a bit of leverage. Loyalty might be limited, but I also think it matters that the Pistons gave Wood his first real shot, and nurtured his development throughout the season.
Once Drummond was traded there was no equivocating — it was Wood in a featured offensive role getting off a ton of shots. He matched or exceeded a career high in three of the season’s final four games.
There is also the matter of money. Wood is young, but at 24 he might never get a bigger payday than the next contract he signs.
The only teams with significant cap room are the Hawks, who are looking to extend John Collins who plays Wood’s position (on a bad team), the Hornets, Knicks and Cavs, who are in no better position than Detroit.
The one team to be on the lookout for is the Miami Heat, who look to have $20 million-plus in cap space and are on the lookout for a stretch big. The team already tried to trade for Danilo Gallinari and are every bit a contender in the East.