With free agency likely occurring at a later date this offseason, the Charlotte Hornets should have enough time to review all available options.
The Charlotte Hornets have not played basketball for almost three months, and the team is itching to get back into action. However, the team should have enough time to review players before free agency starts later this year.
A prospect the Hornets could start to look at is Christian Wood, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2019-20 season. Wood is a former Hornet who appeared in thirteen games for Charlotte during the 2016-17 season.
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During his short stint with the Hornets, Wood rarely received any playing time. His season was mostly spent on the bench, but he did finish by averaging 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Since his departure from the Hornets in 2017, Wood has turned a corner and improved in many areas. Wood finished the 2018-19 season by averaging 8.2 points and four rebounds per game.
Wood spent the 2018-19 season on the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans. After joining the Pelicans last year, Wood put up career numbers in eight games, as he averaged 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
After being waived by the Pelicans following last season, Wood would then be claimed off waivers by the Detroit Pistons in 2019. The 2019-20 season with the Pistons was the best part of his career so far.
Wood managed to play consistently this season, and he played in 62 games before the league suspended the regular season. With the Pistons, Wood averaged 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
As a starter this season, Wood managed to turn a lot of heads. In just twelve games, he averaged 21.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Wood began to receive starter minutes in February, and he would’ve likely continued his impressive play if the season was not suspended.
Following the Piston’s roster moves this season, it’s unclear if they will re-sign Wood. However, Wood did see consistent minutes at the center position following the trade where the Pistons sent Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As of now, the Hornets will have issues to solve in their frontcourt following this season. Willy Hernangomez and Bismack Biyombo are both set to become unrestricted free agents. If the Hornets are not planning on re-signing one of them, then the team will be short at the center position.
Signing Wood would give the team the depth it needs, and possibly a starter quality player if he continues to play consistently. A good aspect of Wood’s game is that he can play both frontcourt positions.
Since the Hornets are a young team that utilizes their small-ball lineups, Wood’s versatility would help Charlotte. As someone who can play multiple positions, I’m sure that Coach James Borrego would appreciate his skillset.
The Hornets have also become a fast-paced team that likes to shoot the three-ball. Luckily for them, Wood has the ability to stretch the floor with his improved three-point shooting. During this season, Wood made 54 three-pointers while shooting 39% from deep.
Based on his value and age, the Hornets could potentially get Wood on a nice deal. However, it will depend on how much money the Pistons plan to offer him in free agency.
With as well as Christian Wood played this season, it will be interesting to see if he signs with another team. After his short stint with the Charlotte Hornets, would he ever consider returning to the Queen City?