Jonas Jerebko is hoping the third time is the charm, as he exercised his player option with the expectation he’ll be better utilized under new Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy. Jerebko, in an interview with Swedish newspaper Boras Tidning, said he would opt in to the final year of a four-year contract that will net him $4.5 million next season. “I feel like I can do much better than what I got the opportunity to show this past season,” he said. He averaged only 11.2 minutes per game last season, and his production hit career lows across the board (4.2 points, 2.7 rebounds), which he blamed on former coach Maurice Cheeks. Jerebko is coming off a not-so-cherry relationship with Cheeks’ predecessor, Lawrence Frank. Fans will remember Jerebko’s father speaking out against Frank when the Pistons went on their London excursion in the 2012-13 season, bringing Jerebko’s strained relationship with the then coach to light. “At first, Lawrence Frank didn’t want to give me a real chance,” said Jerebko, who changed agents in February, signing with Bill Duffy. “When he left, the same thing happened with Mo Cheeks. I played at most 25 minutes in a game, I think. I averaged that per game a few seasons ago, so I can’t be satisfied with that.” Jerebko, a second-round pick in 2009, became a crowd favorite in the 2009-10 season when he filled in at the power forward and small forward spots, especially after former Piston Tayshaun Prince went down with a back injury. He made the all-rookie second team, primarily as an energy guy who played hard, scrappy and scored occasionally. The next preseason, he tore his Achilles, missing the 2010-11 season and hasn’t found his identity as the scrappy player since.
Pistons' Jonas Jerebko stays, hopes to see role expand
Detroit News | May 28