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.

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