Not so often we see players beat the odds and become stars right before our eyes. Sadly, the NBA is a ruthless business that doesn't always allow young players to grow, develop, and blossom. If you don't make it early on your career as at least a rotation player, you're not likely to be on a roster 3 or 4 years later.
Gladly, that's not the case with Christian Wood, who has worked his heart off to going from an unknown player to one of the cornerstones of an NBA team. As a matter of fact, he should be the frontrunner to win the Most Improved Player award and make an All-Star team this season.
The Numbers Have Risen Drastically
Wood went from averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.9 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers per game on 56.7% from the floor and 38.6% from deep with the Detroit Pistons last season to averaging 23.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.0 blocks, and 1.6 turnovers per game on 55.3% shooting and 27.3% from beyond the arc with the Houston Rockets.
But more than that, the fact that Wood has been resilient and mentally strong enough to make it to this point should be quite encouraging for young hoopers out there trying to make it.
Christian Wood Beat The Odds To Be Here
Wood wasn't drafted in 2015. He signed with the Philadelphia 76ers but spent most of his time in the G-League. Then, he signed with the Charlotte Hornets but his luck didn't change much. He was signed - and waived - by the Milwaukee Bucks and later claimed by the New Orleans Pelicans, but it seemed like there was just no room for him in the league.
Wood was waived again and picked off by the Detroit Pistons. There, with Andre Drummond out of the picture and the Pistons in full tank mode, he was finally given a chance to showcase his talents and earn a big payday as a free agent.
The Pistons reportedly offer him roughly $8 million to keep him around after his breakout season, so, obviously; he didn't hesitate to take the Houston Rockets' 3-year, $41 million offer he got.
Now, Christian Wood - who's only 25 - is proving his doubters wrong and has become one of the best big men in the Western Conference right before our eyes.