With the NBA having just started a season suspension that is expected to last at least 30 days, Detroit Pistons forward/center Christian Wood has been identified as the third player to receive a positive test result for the coronavirus, following Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
As reported by NBC Sports Bay Area, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted on Saturday afternoon that Wood, who recently took over as the Pistons’ starting power forward, tested positive for the coronavirus. He added that the former UNLV Runnin’ Rebels star is “doing well” and not suffering from any symptoms at the moment.
Charania’s sources did not provide additional information, though he also noted that Wood had faced Gobert and the Jazz on Saturday, March 7, scoring 30 points and pulling down 11 rebounds for Detroit. He then followed that up with a career-best 32-point game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, March 11 — the same night that the NBA announced it will be indefinitely suspending the 2019-20 season.
Prior to the league’s suspension, Wood was in the middle of a breakout season, one where he recently took on a larger role due to Blake Griffin’s injury woes and the pre-deadline trade that sent Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Per Basketball-Reference, the 24-year-old is averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, one assist, and 0.9 blocks per game, while also shooting 56.7 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from three-point range. The Pistons, however, have struggled for most of the 2019-20 campaign and were 13th in the Eastern Conference with a 20-46 record at the time the NBA suspended operations.
Talking about how Wood might have contracted the coronavirus and how he and his teammates recently played against the Jazz, NBC Sports Bay Area cautioned that it’s “dangerous” to speculate on this matter. The outlet pointed out that NBA players typically encounter thousands of individuals while on the road, dealing with fans, team personnel, reporters, and other people aside from their teammates and opponents.
“Trying to decipher the who and when of contraction is complicated and perhaps impossible to pinpoint,” the publication continued.
So far, there have been no reports of other NBA players apart from Gobert, Mitchell, and Wood being suspected of carrying the coronavirus. As previously reported by CBS Sports, league commissioner Adam Silver has considered the possibility of playing the season’s remaining games in empty stadiums if and when action resumes. However, it remains far from certain whether the 2019-20 campaign will continue once the suspension ends or whether Silver and other officials will ultimately vote to cancel it.