3:59pm: Bobby Marks of ESPN has the new protections on the Pistons’ first-round pick being sent to Houston in the deal. According to Marks (Twitter link), it’s top-16 protected in 2021 and 2022, top-18 in ’23 and ’24, top-13 in ’25, top-11 in ’26, and top-nine in ’27. If it still hasn’t changed hands by that point, the Rockets will get a 2027 second-round pick.
3:38pm: The Pistons and Rockets each issued press releases today to formally announce that free agent big man Christian Wood has officially been sent to Houston in a sign-and-trade deal.
- Pistons acquire Ariza, the draft rights to Isaiah Stewart (the No. 16 pick in the draft), cash ($4.6MM), and a future Rockets second-round pick.
- Rockets acquire Wood (via sign-and-trade), the Pistons’ 2021 first-round pick (heavily protected) and the Lakers’ 2021 second-round pick.
The Pistons’ and Rockets’ official announcements offer even fewer specifics than outlined above, so we’ll have to wait for clarification on the last few aspects of the deal, such as the future second-rounder going to Detroit and the protections on the first-round pick going to Houston.
That Pistons first-rounder was initially expected to be top-16 protected for four years, but Detroit reportedly increased the protections a little further when the team agreed to accommodate Wood’s sign-and-trade. The Rockets were unable to offer Wood his three-year, $41MM deal without the Pistons’ cooperation.
Now that this deal is complete, Ariza can be traded for the third time of the offseason. The veteran forward has already been sent from Portland to Houston to Detroit and will now be rerouted to Oklahoma City as part of a three-team trade involving the Pistons, Thunder, and Mavericks.
Meanwhile, the Rockets officially add one of the top free agents of this year’s class. Wood had a breakout year in 2019/20, though his full-season stats (13.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG) don’t tell the full story — after he entered the starting lineup following the Pistons’ Andre Drummond trade, he recorded 22.8 PPG, 9.9 RPG, and 2.0 APG over his final 13 games.
Wood will join a Rockets squad that no longer seems intent on continuing the micro-ball experiment that they attempted last season after trading Clint Capela to Atlanta. Houston has also reached a deal to sign DeMarcus Cousins.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.