Christian Wood's emergence was one of the pleasant surprises of the 2019-20 NBA season. After struggling with several teams including the New Orleans Pelicans, Wood finally found his footing with the Detroit Pistons last season. Now out of a contract, Wood is among the more enticing players available through NBA free agency and the Pelicans should be interested in signing him.
NBA Free Agency 2020: Christian Wood a suitable option at center for New Orleans Pelicans
The Athletic's Danny Leroux mentioned Christian Wood as a potential NBA free agency target for the New Orleans Pelicans while suggesting moves that they should consider. Leroux explained:
"Depending on how Griffin feels about Hayes’ eventual fit with Williamson and Ingram, he could also look at bringing back Christian Wood, a rare center with potential to space the floor and protect the rim. That would be a particularly compelling wrinkle because Griffin waived Wood in one of his early moves after taking over the Pelicans last year but the big man could be the right fit."
NBA Free Agency 2020: Examining Christian Wood's fit with New Orleans Pelicans
A move for Christian Wood makes sense for several reasons. He may have played as power forward initially, but Wood really shined for the Detroit Pistons after moving to the center spot following Andre Drummond's departure. In the 13 games he played from the trade deadline till the NBA suspension in March 2020, Wood averaged 22.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.
Christian Wood shot at 38.6% from downtown throughout the 2019-20 season. This works well for New Orleans Pelicans since Zion Williamson's jump shot is still in progress. Stan Van Gundy doesn't like playing more than one non-shooter at a time and a pairing of Wood and Williamson would work well.
Let's not forget that the New Orleans Pelicans have an obvious hole at the center's spot this offseason. They aren't too sure about re-signing Derrick Favors via NBA free agency and Jaxson Hayes needs more time to get going.
Wood won't be the cheapest option and could easily command upwards of $10 million in annual salary. But he fits well and solves multiple rotation problems for New Orleans Pelicans. He should be considered by the Pels as one of the key targets in NBA free agency this offseason.