Jonas Jerebko Will Be Detroit’s Best Small Forward
Jerebko played mostly power forward this season, and he may well work best as a stretch 4 who hits enough 3s, cuts hard, and defends well enough. He’ll get time there, too, with Detroit working in two project centers beside budding All-Star Greg Monroe. But Jerebko may well be the best small forward on a roster of oddly fitting parts. Tayshaun Prince is in decline, and last season worked too often as if he were a legit no. 1 option. Maggette is Maggette — a free throw machine who does little else, on either end. Detroit fans openly hate Charlie Villanueva, and it’s unclear if he can even get on the floor in the NBA now. The Pistons have no clue what position Austin Daye plays anymore.
Jonas Jerebko starting at small forward barring an injury is probably, well, a non-starter, since Tayshaun Prince pretty clearly stated that he’d very much like to be the team’s starting small forward. Prince is still an adequate enough player and respected enough by the coaching staff that I think it’s a longshot his role changes much from last season. But I also think the lineup many Pistons fans, including myself, are dying to watch is one with the team’s five best young players — Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Jerebko, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
Jerebko is a great fit in that lineup for a variety of reasons. his movement without the ball and cutting ability is a great fit next to Monroe, who is really good at finding cutters. Jerebko runs the floor harder than any Pistons big man, a skill that fits with Stuckey and Knight, who both excel in transition. And with a lineup up front of Jerebko, Monroe and Drummond, the Pistons would possibly have the best offensive rebounding frontcourt in the league.
Anyway, like I said, I don’t think Jerebko is likely to see a lot of minutes, let alone start, at small forward this season barring an injury. But I hope I’m wrong. It’s really fun to think about watching that group play a lot of minutes together.