There is now a third NBA player who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Detroit big man Christian Wood has tested positive. The Pistons confirmed only that a player has tested positive, and Shams Charania of The Athletic reported it is Wood, something comfirmed by the AP.
Most importantly, Wood is asymptomatic and doing well. He has been in self-isolation since the league announced the suspension of play last Wednesday, the Pistons said.
From the Pistons’ press release:
“A preliminary positive result came back on March 14. The health and safety of our players, our organization, those throughout our league, and all those potentially impacted by this situation is paramount.
“We are working closely with team medical staff, state and local government and public health officials and the NBA on reporting. The individual will remain in isolation and under the care of team medical staff.”
While it is impossible to say with complete certainty how Wood got the virus, he was guarding Rudy Gobert last Saturday night in Detroit.
Gobert is considered patient zero in the NBA right now. It is believed he passed it along to teammate Donovan Mitchell, who also tested positive. Wood may have gotten it from Gobert as well.
The Toronto Raptors played the Jazz the night after the Pistons and those players have been tested and it all came back negative, the team announced.
COVID-19 Update pic.twitter.com/GYpKAxXrRv
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 14, 2020
The Pistons played both the Knicks and the Sixers after playing the Jazz, and Wood played in both of those games. Wood had flu-like symptoms Wednesday before the Sixers game but played in that game. Philadelphia players already had been asked to be in self-quarantine and the franchise was trying to set up tests for the players, something not easy to do because of the lack of tests. That effort will undoubtedly gain urgency now.
Wood, who played his college ball at UNLV, has bounced around to five NBA teams in four seasons, but was having a breakout year in Detroit. Wood is averaging 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, he is shooting 38.6 percent from three on 2.3 attempts a game, and he is blocking almost a shot a night. Wood, making $1.7 million on what started as a non-guaranteed contract this season, is in line for a big payday in a soft free agent market this offseason.
The NBA has suspended play and that will continue until at least April 10, when the situation will be re-evaluated.