AP Source: Pistons To Re-Sign Prince And Jerebko
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LARRY LAGE,AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) — 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.
Contracts couldn’t be signed until the collective bargaining agreement was completed, which owners and players ratified Thursday. Teams can have their first practice of the season as soon as Friday, and the Pistons have scheduled one for 5 p.m.
The Pistons have been working out at the team’s practice facility in Auburn Hills, Mich., for a week since lockout restrictions were lifted by the league. They have a lot of work to do, coming off a 30-52 season that led to the firing of coach John Kuester.
New coach Lawrence Frank will have a veteran at small forward in Prince, who could’ve chased another NBA championship ring with another franchise. Prince averaged 14.1 points last season, his ninth with the Pistons.
Detroit drafted him 23rd overall out of Kentucky in 2002 and he helped them reach at least the Eastern Conference finals in his first six seasons. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound Prince has been regarded as one the better defenders in the league and has averaged nearly 13 points over his career, but he has had three straight down seasons.
Jerebko appears to be ready to play after missing all of last season with a torn right Achilles tendon. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound Swede played in a team-high 80 games as a rookie two years ago, averaging 9.3 points and six rebounds.
Detroit might try to retool with more familiar faces such as guard Rodney Stuckey, a restricted free agent, and center Ben Wallace, an unrestricted free agent.
The Pistons selected Kentucky guard Brandon Knight No. 8 overall last summer, potentially adding to their glut of players on the perimeter with shooting guards Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon. They got plenty of production out of last year’s first-round pick, center Greg Monroe, who was drafted No. 7 overall.
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