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3-on-3: Trading Jonas Jerebko

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, Patrick and I will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. We’re going to use 3-on-3s to assess the tradability of each Piston leading up to the March 15 trade deadline.

For each 3-on-3, we’ll be joined by a guest contributor. Today, that’s Dan Devine of Yahoo! Sports’ Ball Don’t Lie.

Please add your responses in the comments.

1. How motivated are the Pistons to trade Jonas Jerebko?

Dan Feldman: Players like Jerebko – backups whose best attribute is their motor – are typically very tradable. But the Pistons have only one player who fits that mold, and without Jerebko’s hustle, this season would be even more unbearable. It’s not often a player is traded during the first season of his contract, and I don’t see why Jerebko would be the exception.

Patrick Hayes: They would listen. Jerebko is a solid player who would be an asset and contribute to any team in a variety of roles. He’s versatile, hard-working, young and signed to a reasonable contract. Those are all good reasons to keep him around, but he’s also not untouchable. He’s exactly the type of player who could fetch an asset in return or, if the Pistons wanted to go that route, entice a team to take on one of Detroit’s bad contracts.

Dan Devine: Not as motivated as they are to move at least a couple of other Pistons, I’d wager. I’ll cop to not knowing exactly what Joe Dumars’ roster-shaping thought process is heading into this trade deadline – because why should things be different in March than they were when Dumars’ decision-making had me puzzled in December? – but while Jerebko doesn’t stand out as an elite player in any one area, he’s at least a young not-particularly-elite player on a comparatively inexpensive contract, which is more than you can say for the likes of Tayshaun Prince, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. If an opportunity to move any of those players presents itself, you’d like to think Dumars would seize it and let whatever Jerebko-related motivations he might have wane accordingly.

2. How motivated are other teams to trade for Jonas Jerebko?

Dan Feldman: Jerebko could help any team in the league, because he’s both young and serviceable right now. The Pistons don’t have a lot of tradable assets, but when other GMs are on the phone with Joe Dumars and looking for someone to talk about, it would make sense to mention Jerebko. Whether that leads anywhere, who knows? But I’d guess he’s at least being discussed.

Patrick Hayes: There’s probably a market for him, but it’s hard to imagine a match that makes sense unless he’s involved in a multi-player deal. On his own, contending teams would definitely part with a late first rounder to get him, but Jerebko has more value to the Pistons than that. Because of his relatively low salary, in a one for one trade, the only players who would work would be former first round picks who are still on rookie deals or veterans signed to modest contracts. Not sure either of those things help the Pistons more than just keeping Jerebko would.

Dan Devine: I’d have to think that the answer is, "They’re by no means salivating, but they might be interested." While Jerebko has both shown himself to be healthy after his lost 2010-11 season and bounced back in just about every statistical category to right around the level of form he showcased in his 2009-10 All-Rookie Second Team campaign, he’s also not likely to be topping any team’s shopping list. Jerebko’s a capable-or-better defender of opposing forwards in just about all situations (he’s giving up less than a point per possession in all defensive areas save trailing the roll man on pick-and-roll plays, according to MySynergySports) who gives you energy everywhere, but relatively little else on the offensive end. Active, defensive-minded swing forwards most definitely have a place on contenders’ rosters, but is Jerebko one that those teams will really covet? My bet is no.

3. How likely are the Pistons to trade Jonas Jerebko?

Dan Feldman: Not likely. If the Pistons were looking to make a trade for the sake of making a trade, Jerebko is a logical candidate. But Dumars has repeatedly said that’s not the Pistons’ plan – nor should it be.

Patrick Hayes: The only scenario I can envision where the Pistons would trade him is if a team is willing to take Ben Gordon or Charlie Villanueva with Jerebko as the sweetener so that the Pistons don’t have to take back a bad contract in return. If it took Jerebko to get out of one of those deals, then the remaining of the two was amnestied in the offseason, it might be worth considering.

Dan Devine: Not especially likely. Shedding long-term contracts and on-court detritus makes sense for a Detroit team that has to build around first- and second-year bookends Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, but Jerebko doesn’t quite rise to the level of a millstone in either those categories to push him out the door. I think he sees the end of the first of his four scheduled years in the Motor City.

16 Comments

  • Mar 8, 20124:27 pm
    by Peksecutioner

    Reply

    If i’m correct Afflalo and Amir were traded for cap space so we could sign CV and BG, Amir in particular, Afflalo would also have problems getting some play time behind all guards? So if Jonas is an add-on in a trade of any of those two, that would mean we essentially sacrificed 3 solid players for 2 who were under performing throughout whole contract..that would be too much..and Joe is probably aware of that…it’s a good idea but too much of a risk and luxury at the moment considering history and everything…

  • Mar 8, 20125:47 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    The fact that Amir and Arron were traded for cap space (although that was actually for the space to sign Wilcox) is irrelevant. That is a sunk cost. Deal with the roster as it is now. So if Detroit is gonna do something with the cap space (including just leave it open to help facilitate future trade, that’s fine. But if not, yeah, it would be a waste of the minor asset that is Jerebko. If Detroit could get under the cap by a max deal–which would also necessitate moving Max, they could throw that at Eric Gordon. That’s probably what it would take to peel him away from New Orleans. And it would be risky, but at least Detroit would have another properly good player on the books.

    I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a roster built around a Stuckey+Knight+Gordon backcourt and a Monroe+Davis/Drummond/Robinson/Barnes/Kidd-Gilchrist/Jones frontcourt. Just gotta take a chance on a couple more Byron Mullens/Cole Aldrich/Robin Lopez types.

    • Mar 8, 20128:37 pm
      by swish22

      Reply

      I would agree with you here Tarsier in keeping the 3 guards for the foreseeable future and only concentrating on upgrading the obvious weakness at the forward/center positions! 
       Sure seemed like JJ had much better lateral movement his rookie year than now.  Wondering if it’s the achilles injury or possibly the bulk he put on having to deal with being a power forward!  Any thoughts??  

      • Mar 9, 20129:54 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Oh, yeah, the Gordon I was referring to was Eric, if cap space were cleared and he were acquired. I have no desire to consider Ben Gordon part of the future.

        JJ does not look as athletic as he once did, but not much less either. It’s a real disappointment that he hasn’t improved since his rookie season. Although I did always consider him a Taj Gibson type of player.

    • Mar 9, 20127:30 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      If only the Pistons had Robin Lopez, Cole Aldrich or Byron Mullens.  What makes any of them better than JJ?

  • Mar 8, 20126:49 pm
    by JT's Hoops Blog

    Reply

    With the scenarios that you have proposed, I do not see Jonas Jerebko going anywhere.  That’s too bad because he deserve better than being on a crappy team like the Pistons.  Anyways I doubt the Pistons will do anything come deadline time.  It’s not worth it for them. They’re too fargone to be even trying to attempt a playoff push.  They have a lot of sh1tty contracts (thanks Joe!) which they will get little or no equal value for.

  • Mar 8, 20129:29 pm
    by Vance

    Reply

    I dont think any team would give up much for JJ…. If the Pistons do trade him the return would be little. JJ is more like an add on piece in a trade, not a major trade…

  • Mar 8, 20129:59 pm
    by Todd

    Reply

    Sometimes there are players who mean more to one team than they would to others, I think Jonas Jerebko is worth alot to Detroit and it would be sad to see him go!

    That being said if Jerebko could be attached to one of the albatross contracts like Gordon, CV, or even Prince for some young, athletic talent – let’s do it!

  • Mar 9, 201211:19 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    This is one of a VERY few discussions regarding player tradability worth having. He’s nowhere NEAR good enough to build around, but on a team this scattered and lackluster, he looks downright indispensible.

    My take on JJ is as simple as this: Jonas a part of the “young core” that Joe overvalues to the point of absurdity. The cupboard is so bare, and there’s so little flexibility for this year AND THE NEXT TWO, that Greg Monroe looks like Kareem, Brandon Knight looks like Isiah, Stuckey looks like Jordan and JJ looks like… uh, I dunno, Josh Smith?

    The bottom line is that these guys aren’t a “good young core,” they’re good young pieces. And there’s a big difference between the two. These guys are not good enough to build around; they’re the kinds of players you surround LEGITIMATE core players with. Joe overvalues these guys as individuals and as a unit. He’ll never think he’s getting enough for them. This alone makes any trades involving these prohibitively unlikely.

    Add to that the fact that the team itself is so poorly constructed that nobody is showcased at all. This team has been less than the sum of its parts since 2009. The only player on this roster who legitimately makes his teammates better is Monroe, and he’s the most untouchable. And (1) he doesn’t do it consistently enough to be a true full-time hub for the offense, and (2) guys he assists have to work pretty hard by being active and making basket cuts to take full advantage of it; he’s not one of these guys who draws so much attention that he just has to hit an open man for a clean look.

    AND on top of all that, there is absolutely no pressure whatsoever on Joe (internally or externally) to do his job. He gets applauded for sitting on his hands, because he resisted the chance to make a move. Dude can’t lose. He’s got an inexplicable leash, and he’s got automatic incremental help coming intermittently in the future. Every year, he gets a promising young piece in the lottery (by mere virtue of being awful and suffering another excruciating season of misery and futility); this offseason he’s got a few small expiring contracts that are inherently movable simply because they’re expiring; next offseason Rip will have fallen off the books, and he’ll have two huge dead weight expiring nightmare contracts to try to pawn off on unsuspecting suckers, assuming he hasn’t already amnestied one of them.

    The bottom line is that Joe seems completely unwilling to do anything to significantly shape the future of this team in any way. It’s one thing to try rebuilding on the fly, which shouldn’t be hard as long as you have flexibility (as the Pistons had in 2008); you just have to make good decisions. Joe tried that, but he only failed because he made terrible decisions. Look at Denver; they did it the right way by maximizing their assets and options. But once you’re terrible and have no flexibility, you need to shake things up in order to break the cycle of mediocrity. When you’re bad and orchestrate your roster to win as many games as you can, however few they may be, it’s just a long, slow slog out of the gutter. And anybody could sit in his chair and wait for things to get better, because they will as a matter of course.

    I wouldn’t expect any activity at the trade deadline, simply because Joe doesn’t have the vision, guts, or options it would take to turn this team around by action. In all likelihood the team gets turned around by inaction, if at all. The front office will tell us that they’re waiting for the summer to make moves, but they still probably don’t make any waves then. It’s probably a full season before we see any real change. If Joe were smart, he’d do something to make us significantly better or worse (personally, I’d try to trade Max and Tay for junk and picks), but history dictates he won’t. He’s too stubborn and proud and stupid, so as long as he’s in charge we’re stuck in limbo.

  • Mar 9, 201211:41 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    Also, for the record, Prince is not an albatross. I think he can and should be traded. His contract isn’t perfect, but it makes some sense AS LONG AS JOE DIDN’T SIGN HIM SO HE COULD RETIRE HERE, which would be an unforgivable and purely posterious move on his part. Whether you’re sick of looking at his face, or you think he’s worn out his welcome, he’s an above-average player on a deal that doesn’t wildly exceed the MLE. He’s smart and versatile and durable, and his game isn’t REMOTELY predicated on the athleticism players tend to lose as they head towardss their mid-thirties. He’s an asset who would be significant help any contender.

    Letting him walk would have been a mistake. Extending him so he can retire here would be a bigger mistake. Joe left himself with nothing but bad options, but the best thing he could do is turn Tayshaun into another first rounder. Probably a late one. So be it.

    • Mar 9, 201212:52 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Extending Prince was not, in theory,a mistake. It was a mistake because of the numbers involved. He should have been given at most three years so he could fall off the books with CV and BG. And Dumars really should have pushed for one or two years so that Prince would be desirable asset and be highly tradeable.

      The biggest mistake was not taking the Butler swap. After cashing in with a late first rounder in what was considered a very deep draft, Dumars still could have tried to resign either Prince or Butler to try to swap him out later to a contender.

  • Mar 9, 201211:55 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    “he’s an above-average player on a deal that doesn’t wildly exceed the MLE.”

    Not according to his numbers this year, he’s not. His contract might not be an albatross, but his age and decline in shooting percentage mixed with being signed long-term make me skeptical there’s a team that would give a first round pick for him out there.

    “his game isn’t REMOTELY predicated on the athleticism players tend to lose as they head towardss their mid-thirties.”

    You predicted something similar about Hamilton, I believe. That’s working out quite well for Chicago.

    • Mar 9, 20123:36 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      I certainly never made that kind of statement about Rip. Rip’s game is predicated on running around screens and being “the best condtioned athlete in the league.” Tayshaun is the fathest thing in the world from this.

    • Mar 9, 20127:38 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      @Patrick….do you compare Prince to the average player or the average small forward because a lot of teams don’t have one as good as Prince.   Also, owners and GMs might be thinking a lot differently than you.  Mark Cuban for instance said that the lockout year renders all stats produced this year to be irrelevant in terms of predicting future years,  He said the schedule hurts veterans and skews their numbers and he said the opposite regarding young players.   Prince shot extremely well the previous two seasons so the drop this year could be due to the schedule.  I look for a big bounce back in field goal pct for Prince next season.

  • Mar 9, 201212:23 pm
    by Tim

    Reply

    Maybe this isnt the forum for it, but I would love to see the pistons make a move for Ersan Ilyasova or Asik (sure, hes probably not available).

    • Mar 9, 20127:39 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Ersan seems to be set on leaving the league after this season.

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