The NBA’s COVID-19 scare has now directly impacted the Pistons.
Detroit big man Christian Wood tested positive for the coronavirus, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Saturday night, becoming the third such player in the NBA with such a diagnosis. The Jazz’s Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were the first two players to test positive for the coronavirus earlier this week. Detroit and Utah played at Little Caesars Arena on March 7, when Wood had 30 points and 11 rebounds.
The NBA suspended games indefinitely the night of March 11 following Gobert’s positive test.
Wood is “100 percent OK” and “feeling fine,” per a source. Wood felt subtle symptoms of the virus on Thursday, and decided to get tested as a precaution. Wood has been in self-isolation since Wednesday.
Wood has been one of the few bright spots for 20-46 Detroit. The 24 year old, who has played on five teams in four NBA seasons, started the year fighting with Joe Johnson for the Pistons’ 15th and final roster spot. After making the team, Wood became a regular in Dwane Casey’s rotation, showing off a versatile offensive skill set that turned heads. However, since the trade deadline, Wood had emerged as one of the league’s breakout candidates. In 13 games following the Feb. 6 deadline, Wood averaged a team-high 22.8 points and 9.9 rebounds, while shooting 56.2 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3.
The California native is playing on a veteran-minimum contract, but he’s positioned himself for a handsome pay raise this offseason. Multiple sources told The Athletic that Wood could get up to eight figures in the open market this summer. Wood garnered intense interest from both the Rockets and Celtics at the trade deadline, per a source, but it appears that Detroit sees him as part of the organization’s future plans.
Wood is under the care of the Pistons’ medical staff and, along with his teammates, remains in isolation.
(Photo: Eric Hartline / USA Today)