Warriors

Presented By montepoole
Warriors

Their eternal search for a 3-point specialist from the bench brought the Warriors last summer to Nick Young and Omri Casspi, with Young's nominal impact and Casspi fading his way off the roster.

So the defending champs keep searching. The new guy, Jonas Jerebko, signed up last month and has the potential to deliver the best of what they received from Young and Casspi.

Jerebko’s physical fitness won’t be an issue, as was the case with Young.

And there is absolutely nothing to indicate the 31-year-old forward will have anything resembling a crisis of confidence, as Casspi surely did.

Asked what element of his game he’d put against anyone in the NBA, Jerebko didn’t flinch.

“Just out on that 3-point line,” Jerebko said on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast. “I’m shooting the ball really well right now. The corner 3 . . . I’m feeling really confident shooting the ball.”

After being introduced to Bay Area media on July 16, Jerebko grabbed a Warriors playbook and some video to study before returning to his home in Michigan. Most of the last six weeks have been dedicated to putting himself in position to help his new team, particularly as a reserve who can drill the 3.

In 74 games with Utah last season, Jerebko shot 41.4 percent (65-of-157) beyond the arc, which is indicative of his gradual improvement. After shooting 30.6 percent from deep over his first three NBA seasons, he is at 39.1 percent over his last five.

 

“I did not come into this league a shooter,” Jerebko conceded.

Shooting is, more than anything else, what the Warriors need him to do. They finished 30th (last) in 3-point makes off the bench last season (2.0 per game), 29th in 2016-17 (2.1), 28th in 2015-16 (2.2) and 28th in 2014-15 (1.9).

Which is a statistical way of pointing out coach Steve Kerr has never known the feeling of looking down his bench and knowing he’d see a consistently reliable deep threat. The best so far: Marreese Speights, who shot 38.7 percent from deep in 2015-16.

“I’ve been shooting the ball well the past few years,” Jerebko said. “I feel really confident in my shot. I’m very confident that I can help in that field.

“I’ve been in the league for 10 years now. I know Steve and those guys have watched me and know what I can do on the court. I’m going to help every which way I can. If that’s on the defensive end, getting steals or rebounds, whatever it may be, hustling, you’re going to see me all over the court.”

At 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, Jerebko believes he offers a bonus: the ability to defend multiple positions.

“I feel comfortable guarding people shorter than me, no problem,” he said. “I try to use my length. I feel I’ve got really quick feet, so I can try to stay in front of people. That’s the way I want to play, mixing it up, guarding big guys or smaller guys, point guards, whatever. Switching on screens? I’m ready for it.”

Jerebko has about four weeks to prove he is ready for it all. Training camp opens on Sept. 25.