As a companion piece to my weekly “Rookie Report” at the Fantasy Basketball Report, each Friday a different rookie will be looked at in-depth.
Even for those of us who follow NBA basketball on a daily basis, there was probably a point in the last month when saw the name Jonas Jerebko and said, “Who is that?”
The short version: Jerebko is a 6-foot-10 Swedish forward drafted in the second round as the 39th overall pick by the Detroit Pistons. He played in Sweden and Italy before coming to the NBA.
Considering the Pistons lack of frontcourt depth, Jerebko got some opportunities from the start and has started in every game except the team’s season opener.
With injuries to Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Gordon, Jerebko has become a major and productive part of Detroit’s lineup.
Since Gordon suffered an ankle injury on November 25, Jerebko is averaging 13.4 points, 7.6 rebounds with six 3-pointers and four steals in seven games. Even as Gordon has returned to the lineup, Jerebko has maintained his effectiveness.
It’s evident Jerebko has NBA-ready skills. He rebounds well, shoots some 3-pointers and makes 49 percent of his shots overall. In true European fashion, Jerebko doesn’t provide defensive statistics but will provide shooting from the power forward position.
Jerebko should already be on the radar of fantasy owners but the true test will be his performance once Tayshaun Prince returns. The Pistons have already claimed they will continue to give Jerebko minutes, but how will his play be affected?
Should Jerebko continue to produce at this level once Detroit is at full health, he should be considered in all leagues. But it’s going to be hard for him to continue to get shots when Gordon and Hamilton are dominating the ball.
But on the plus side, who wouldn’t want to own the league’s only Swede?