The Pistons will hold Christian Wood‘s Early Bird rights this offseason and will have the opportunity to dip into cap room if those Early Bird rights (which would allow the team to offer about $10MM per year) aren’t enough to re-sign him. That should put Detroit in the driver’s seat to bring back the promising young big man, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2019/20.
However, as James L. Edwards III of The Athletic details, the Pistons figure to face some competition for Wood’s services on the open market.
Edwards points to New York and Boston as two teams that could pursue the free-agent-to-be. A March report identified the Knicks as a potential Wood suitor — they could have plenty of cap room and a positional need if they decide not to bring back Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson. As for the Celtics, they’ll only have the mid-level exception available, but expressed interest in Wood at the trade deadline.
Edwards goes on to speculate that the Hornets and Pelicans may also be among the teams that keep an eye on Wood in free agency. Charlotte, in particular, will have a good chunk of cap room available and will likely be in the market for a big man with Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez set to reach the open market.
Here’s more on the Pistons:
- Given the volatile nature of both the draft lottery and the draft itself, launching a full-fledged rebuild doesn’t come with any guarantees, and the Pistons’ decision to do so wasn’t as obvious as some believed, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. However, shifting into rebuilding mode was still the right call for the franchise, Langlois contends.
- The Pistons likely won’t be reopening their practice facility until at least May 28, since Michigan’s stay-at-home order runs through that date, as Rod Beard of The Detroit News details. “We’re adhering to that,” head of basketball operations Ed Stefanski told Beard. “When the governor of Michigan will let us open the facility and the league is going to allow the players to come back if they want to, to get workouts. We have plenty of protocols to set in place already, and we’ll be ready when they’re allowed.”
- In case you missed it on Monday, Blake Griffin shared a positive update on his recovery from knee surgery, suggesting he has “basically been cleared for a while now.”