Jonas Jerebko happy to still be in Boston, could he be the shooter Celtics are looking for?
In a move that wasn't even really a move, earlier this month the Celtics retained the services of Jonas Jerebko (for one year at $5 million) when they allowed his non-guaranteed contract to become guaranteed for 2016-17.
While supporting the summer league squad in Las Vegas, Jerebko spoke about how pleased he is to remain a Celtic:
"I know I wanted to be back and I know they wanted me back," Jonas Jerebko says of returning to the C's. "I'm excited to be back."— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 15, 2016
He also added this little anecdote:
Jonas Jerebko just told me that he is making on avg >500 shots every day, and sometimes 1,000. He bought a house w/ a court in the basement.— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) July 15, 2016
Two things come to mind here: One, Jonas, I'm available to house-sit whenever you need. And two, maybe the C's best option at this point (unless they like the idea of J.R. Smith) is to look within in their quest to find shooting. Brad Stevens recently hinted as much:
Stevens on needs: "Whether it’s by development or by addition, whatever the case may be, shooting is going to be the primary need."— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) July 11, 2016
Jerebko is a .353 career three-point shooter (nearly identical to potential free-agent target Chase Budinger), but he connected on 39.8 percent of his long-range attempts last season, second on the team behind Kelly Olynyk's 40.5 percent.
With Boston's current roster construction, Jerebko is likely fourth on the frontcourt depth chart behind Al Horford, Amir Johnson and Olynyk (he averaged 15.1 minutes per game last season in a similar situation). If his offseason three-point work keeps him in the 40-percent range or better, could the "Swedish Larry Bird" force Stevens' hand and earn a bigger role in the Celtics offense?
Olynyk and Jerebko are somewhat redundant in the sense that they can both stretch the floor, but neither is much of a presence in the post. For Jerebko to snag more minutes, he'll likely need to out-shoot Olynyk from deep.
One option I'd enjoy seeing from time-to-time is Kelly and Jonas on the court together. Imagine an inside-out second unit with Terry Rozier running the point, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart posting up, and Olynyk and Jerebko on the perimeter--a potential nightmare for opposing benches to try to defend.
Follow Mark Van Deusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan