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Warriors bolster bench, add another shooter

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With the addition of Jonas Jerebko, which is likely to be made official on Monday, the Warriors have just two roster spots remaining to be filled. In Jerebko, Golden State adds a 6-foot-10 power forward who is a career 36-percent three-point shooter.

The Warriors bench has almost completed its full makeover with Golden State agreeing to terms with forward Jonas Jerebko on a one-year minimum deal.

The sharpshooting power forward was waived by the Utah Jazz Saturday after playing in 74 games for them last year.

He fills the Warriors biggest bench need — shooting. He shot 41 percent from deep last season and gives Golden State a true stretch big, something they haven’t had recently, unless you count David West, but Jerebko’s range is much deeper, including 65 made 3’s (on 157 attempts) last season.

In the Warriors system you are either someone who can stretch the floor, or you’re a big. And it’s a real asset that he can play next to any of the Warriors young bigs despite not being a true wing in order to keep their four out spacing.

Last season the team’s spacing became suspect when they were forced to play two bigs together, which happened a lot last season being that it carried seven centers.

Jerebko will essentially step into the Omri Casspi 10-minute-per-night role as a shooter and slasher who can give spot backup minutes across the three frontcourt positions.

  • DeMarcus Cousins officially signed his Warriors contract Friday after arriving in Las Vegas for Summer League. Cousins will play the 2018-19 season for the full taxpayer mid-level, which is $5.3 million. He’s still recovering from his Achilles tear which happened January 26, and originally stated he would be ready for training camp but after meeting with the organization has said he will take his time. And when he’s ready, Steve Kerr has said that no question, he’ll be the starter at center.
  • Kevin Durant also officially inked his deal a day after Cousins put pen to paper. Terms of the deal weren’t released but Durant was reported to take a one year deal at his max salary of $30 million, with a player option for the 2019-20 season. This helped save the Warriors around $5 million in salary and another $20 million or so in tax payments. He now has the option of signing for the full max after next season for as long as five seasons, or take a shorter term deal, but whatever he chooses the Warriors will have full Bird rights on him, which means they can go over the cap to retain him.
  • With the three signings, the Warriors now have two roster spots left. One is ear-marked for restricted free agent Patrick McCaw, who hasn’t gotten any offers but will almost assuredly return. He can take his qualifying offer of $1.6 million for next year and try to get a more lucrative deal in 2020, or try to hammer out a multi-year deal now. The other spot is more open-ended. As Anthony Slater of The Athletic first reported, the Warriors are looking at leaving that spot open to save money. If that’s the route they go, they can cover the regular season by signing two players to two-way contracts and using them as a tag-team in the 15th spot.

Curtis Uemura is SFBay’s Golden State Warriors beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @CUemura on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Warriors basketball.

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