Charlotte Hornets Alumni: Pistons would be foolish to cut Christian Wood

Former Charlotte Hornets Christian Wood (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)
Former Charlotte Hornets Christian Wood (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have some roster decisions awaiting them. Parting ways with former Charlotte Hornets big man Christian Wood would be the wrong move.

Ever since his one-year stint with the Charlotte Hornets during the 2016-17 season, Christian Wood has bounced around the league, struggling to find an organization that he can call home. It’s surprising, because Wood has improved tremendously since then and clearly deserves a spot in an NBA rotation.

When he signed a contract with the Detroit Pistons earlier this off-season, many figured that he would finally get that chance. However, now a month away from training camp, his spot on the roster is not safe, and there’s a chance that he gets waived prior to the start of the 2019-20 season.

Going into training camp, the Pistons have 14 guaranteed contracts. Wood, along with NBA veteran Michael Beasley, are both on non-guaranteed contracts, and one of them figure to get the final roster spot.

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Considering the Pistons lack depth at center with just Andre Drummond and Thon Maker holding it down, Wood seems like the logical option. I would, in fact, strongly consider giving Wood rotational minutes rather than Maker. He has shown rapid improvement over the past two years and fits in very nicely.

While the Pistons wing depth isn’t superb either, it’s clear that a third-string center makes more sense. Plus, at this point in time, Wood is simply a better basketball player than Beasley. Beasley is a heck of an offensive talent, but Wood checks the box in multiple other areas.

Last season, Wood spent time with both the Bucks and Pelicans. It was in New Orleans where he really got the chance to show what he can do in the midst of the whole Anthony Davis trade request fiasco that eventually ended in “The Brow” becoming a Laker. Wood averaged 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in eight games with the Pelicans.

It took him some time, but Wood is finally beginning to figure things out. Dating back to his college days at UNLV, Wood always had intriguing potential. He went undrafted, and has fought through playing in the G-League and in Summer Leagues, but now at 23 years old — Wood has arrived and will stick.

During his time with the Charlotte Hornets, Wood was a raw player that was still trying to find his way in the league. Some two years later, Wood now looks extremely impressive and absolutely deserves to be on Detroit’s opening night roster.

My Swarm and Sting Co-Expert, Giovanni Spillman, believes that the Hornets gave up on Wood too early. He spent just the one season in Charlotte, averaging 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds. With a little time and effort with his development, who knows what he would have become in a Hornets uniform.

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I know that I’ll be rooting hard for Wood as we enter the 2019-20 season. He deserves this opportunity with the Pistons, and at the end of the day, I think he will get it.