10:31pm: In exchange for agreeing to sign-and-trade Wood to Houston as part of the previously agreed-upon Ariza deal, the Pistons will acquire a future second-round pick and will add even more protections to the first-round pick they’re sending to the Rockets, tweets James Edwards III of The Athletic.
9:18pm: The Rockets are now in agreement with Wood, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that it’ll be a three-year, $41MM deal.
That’s a significant increase on what was reported earlier and it means it’ll have to be a sign-and-trade rather than a move that uses Houston’s mid-level exception. It’ll presumably be folded into the not-yet-official trade sending Trevor Ariza from the Rockets to the Pistons.
Houston will be hard-capped at $138.93MM for the 2020/21 league year as a result of acquiring a player via sign-and-trade.
7:58pm: After Frank Isola of SiriusXM NBA Radio reported (via Twitter) that the Rockets were close to finalizing a three-year, $27MM agreement with big man Christian Wood, Shams Charania of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that Wood remains engaged with interested teams.
Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle refers to Wood as Houston’s “top free agent target,” but hears from a source close to the player that a deal isn’t close to being finalized at this point.
If the Rockets can complete a deal with Wood, it would be a major get for the organization, as the Pistons big man is one of the most intriguing frontcourt players of this year’s free agent 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 Drummond trade, he recorded 22.8 PPG, 9.9 RPG, and 2.0 APG over his final 13 games. He also showed off an improved three-point shot, making 54-of-140 attempts (38.6%) on the season, despite having only attempted 42 threes prior to 2019/20.
Detroit has already reached deals with a pair of centers tonight, agreeing to sign Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor. While that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t re-sign Wood, it probably reduces the odds that he’ll remain with the Pistons. A sign-and-trade remains a viable possibility though, especially if his contract ends up in the range that Isola’s report suggests.
Whether or not they’re able to secure a commitment from Wood, the fact that they’re in the mix for him is a signal that the Rockets are in the market for big men after their micro-ball experiment in 2019/20. If Wood signs elsewhere, Houston will still have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception available to address the position.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.