Former Warriors Floor-Spacer Ignites Controversy With New Deal

Jonas Jerebko Kevin Durant Warriors

Getty Jonas Jerebko and Kevin Durant celebrate a made basket during a game between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.

Jonas Jerebko’s time with the Golden State Warriors was short-lived; he played all of 73 games with the club during the 2018-19 campaign. However, he was still an important part of the Bay Area crew’s last Finals run.

The big man was a fixture of Steve Kerr’s bench that season, putting up 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per contest. Meanwhile, he connected on 37% of his triples while taking more than half of his shots from behind the arc as a backup 4/5.

That lone year with the Warriors ended up being Jerebko’s last taste of NBA basketball, too. After the team lost in their title bid to the Raptors, he opted for a move across the pond, signing with Khimki in Russia.

Flash forward to now, and the 35-year-old has found a new basketball home with one of the most storied clubs in European basketball.

Jerebko Returns to Russia

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Per an announcement from the team on Wednesday, Jerebko has put pen to paper on a rest-of-season deal with CSKA Moscow.

Consequently, he’ll be reunited with head coach Dimitris Itoudis, who participated in summer league and training camp with the Detroit Pistons during the baller’s tenure there. At the time, Itoudis was serving as an assistant with Panathinaikos under Zeljko Obradovic, who joined him in the Motor City.

The move will also see him re-join forces with Alexey Shved, his former Khimki teammate.

Although Jerebko played relatively well for his previous squad — averaging 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per outing while shooting 49.8% from the floor and 40.5% from deep over parts of two seasons — the club decided to part ways with him in January of 2021.

As a result, he’ll likely have some ramping up to do before he can contribute in a meaningful way for CSKA.

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Jerebko’s Move Is a Controversial One

CSKA’s status as a veritable hoops powerhouse is indisputable. The franchise has captured eight EuroLeague titles in addition to winning the VTB championship every year since 2008, save for the 2010-11 campaign. Regardless, not everyone is celebrating Jerebko’s decision to sign there.

In the wake of Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine, the EuroLeague has suspended Russian teams for the season. Meanwhile, ballers of various nationalities have been vacating their roster spots with Russian clubs.

But Jerebko has nonetheless made the decision to return to the country. It’s a move that has drawn criticism in his native Sweden, where Russia’s war is being denounced.

For his part, Fredrik Joulamo — the Swedish Basketball Federation’s general secretary — was taken aback by the move.

“It is clear that the timing of this decision is surprising, to say the least. I need to talk to Jonas and listen to his thoughts,” Joulamo told the Swedish outlet Aftonbladet (as translated by Eurohoops).

“Our position is clear. We have run a fundraiser, condemned Russia’s invasion, and backed FIBA’s decision. But we are not involved in our players’ contracts. We will have to talk with Jonas to see what this means for him and us in the future.”


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