Dec 9, 2011, 12:04 AM EDT
DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons are attempting to rebuild by keeping at least a couple key players.
Tayshaun Prince and Jonas Jerebko will re-sign with the Pistons, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deals have not been announced.
Prince, an unrestricted free agent, is expected to sign a four year, $27 million contract. Jerebko, a restricted free agent, will be back for a $16 million, four-year deal.
The re-signing of Prince, a 31-year old swingman known for his bizarre-yet-effective shooting stroke, extremely long arms, and quality defense, doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for a rebuilding team like the Pistons — why pay $7 million a year over four years for a solid starter on the tail end of his prime who will become far less effective as he gets less athletic? Prince was there for the Pistons’ championship season and some other great playoff runs, but it may have been imprudent for Detroit to keep Prince in this situation.
Assuming that Jonas Jerebko can come all the way back from the torn Achilles tendon injury that caused him to miss all of last season, his signing makes far more sense for the Pistons than the Prince one did — Jerebko is young, plays with a lot of energy and heart, and has some good all-around skills that should only improve as he logs more time in the NBA.
Still, the Pistons have just committed a total of $11 million a year over the next four years to two role players who will likely never be anywhere close to the All-Star level. After effectively destroying his team by overpaying Charlie Villenueva and Ben Gordon in free agency, you’d think that Joe Dumars would have learned the dangers of paying for mid-level free agents by now, but apparently that’s not the case.
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