JUNE 25TH: Jerebko has officially opted in, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter link).
MAY 28TH: Jonas Jerebko will exercise his $4.5MM player option to remain with the Pistons next season, as he tells Oskar Pålsson of the Swedish newspaper Borås Tidning (translation via Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News). The news is no real surprise, given the forward’s lack of playing time this past season, but it appeared as though the identity of the team’s next coach would weigh heavily on Jerebko’s decision regarding the option. He expressed pleasure with Detroit’s hiring of Stan Van Gundy, Goodwill notes, and perhaps Jerebko’s comfort with him was the determining factor for the former second-round pick.
The Bill Duffy client‘s choice to opt in pushes Detroit’s commitments to about $38MM for nine players next season, though that still leaves plenty of room for the team to strike new deals with Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey or pursue free agents from other clubs. Van Gundy nonetheless would probably prefer not to have to shell out significant money to the 27-year-old Jerebko, whose playing time and production have tumbled each year he’s played since his rookie campaign. He averaged just 4.2 points in 11.6 minutes per game this past season.
Still, Jerebko shot 41.9% from behind the arc this year for a team that otherwise suffered from a lack of outside shooting, and he started 73 games for the Pistons as a rookie before tearing his right Achilles tendon and missing all of 2010/11. Former Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars signed him to a four-year, $18MM contract after that missed season, but Jerebko never returned to the role he had as a rookie, and he clashed with then-coaches Lawrence Frank and Maurice Cheeks.