OAKLAND -- Though Jonas Jerebko might not be the answer to everything the Warriors need, he has the credentials to provide something they’ve never had.
As a legitimate “stretch-4” coming off the bench, the 31-year-old Swede gives the Warriors an option they’ve never really known.
“I’ve been knocking down the 3 consistently for a few years now,” Jerebko said Monday in his introductory media session. “And I’m going to keep working this summer on getting the percentage even higher. I’m feeling really, really confident in my shot. Hopefully, I’ll get some open ones and knock them down.”
Jerebko shot 41.4 percent beyond the arc last season in Utah, his most accurate mark from deep since 2013-14, when he shot 41.9 percent for the Pistons. His career percentage is a respectable 36.3.
That’s enough to give Jerebko a role on a Warriors team that had abysmal 3-point production off the bench (No. 30 last season, 29th the previous season) and generally struggles with bench scoring (No. 22 in the NBA last season, 21st the previous season).
The Warriors addressed that issue last season by bringing in wing Nick Young and combo forward Omri Casspi. The problem persisted. The closest thing to a stretch-4 they’ve had in recent years was Matt Barnes, who at 6-foot-7 played the position in small lineups over the final six weeks of the 2016-17 season.
At 6-10, Jerebko is as tall as Marreese Speights, who over his final two Warriors seasons made a name for himself -- “Mo Buckets” -- as a reserve stretch-5. It’s conceivable, against certain opponents, that Jerebko could fill that role.
He’s willing, he says, to do whatever is needed.
“My main goal, my lifelong dream, is to get a ring and to win an NBA championship,” said Jerebko, who signed for $2.18 million veteran’s minimum. “Money is secondary to all of that. I don’t really care. I’ve played in this league for 10 years. A kid from Sweden, I could never dream of that.”
Aside from occasional minutes from 6-11 Kevin Durant, the Warriors in four seasons under Steve Kerr have lacked a stretch-4 whom opponents fear. Jerebko addressed the need for bombs off the bench.
“He obviously brought it up,” Jerebko said of Kerr. “I told him I’m not going to pass up open shots. I’m going to shoot the ball with confidence. I’m going to go out there and hustle and grab rebounds and whatever he wants me to do.”
The Warriors want him to, above all, make shots, preferably from beyond the arc.