OAKLAND, Calif. – He arrived in a July trade and embraced the adventure of a new city and the new situation that would have been difficult for many players to accept. Jarrett Jack actually liked the unknown.
The season-long discovery process led to a decision. He wants to re-sign with the Warriors in the summer, even with the clear understanding he might be giving up the chance to start somewhere else for the certainty of a backup role to Stephen Curry at point guard in Golden State.
Jack is so sure of it, he told NBA.com, that he has informed management and directed his agents to re-enforce the message that he is hoping to stay once he becomes a free agent in July.
“That’s one of the reasons why I’m really trying to enjoy the moment right now,” he said Saturday with the Warriors holding a 2-1 lead over the favored Nuggets in the best-of-seven first round that continues Sunday night at Oracle Arena. “I’m appreciating everything that’s going on. In the summer, hopefully that process is a little bit further than we all want it to be. There are a lot of variables that go into making that decision. Hopefully, I can stay right here. I told my agent. I’m sure he spoke to the powers that be that I have desires to stay right here and help this franchise grow to the best of its ability.
“I think it’s just a perfect marriage. My teammates, the camaraderie we have, I like my role. I like what I’m able to bring to this team. Could I go somewhere and it would be bigger, but we might not be playing for as much? I try to make it a perfect marriage. The economics, that’s going to take precedent at times, but you also want to be happy. That’s the most fulfilling thing I have playing on this team.”
The eight-year veteran has been locked into a reserve role many times in a career that previously included stops in Portland, Indiana, Toronto and New Orleans, but never like this. He started only four times in the regular season, tied with his 2005-06 rookie campaign as a Trail Blazer for the fewest in his career. Still, the 29.7 minutes per game with a constant presence in the fourth quarter meant a major role.
Free agency on July 1 could be Jack’s chance to find a place where the ball is in his hands all the time, reminiscent of the days when he started at least half the games with the Raptors, Pacers and Trail Blazers. Plus, he is building the resume just in time for the offseason, with a very good showing the first three games of the playoffs as the Warriors went to a three-guard starting lineup of Klay Thompson, Curry and Jack when power forward David Lee suffered a hip injury in the opener.
“I’ve been in that capacity before,” Jack said. “It doesn’t make or break or define the player that I am. Could I go somewhere else and [start]? Yeah. But I like who we have here. I like the role that I’m in and am comfortable in. If it’s able to work out, I would love to be back here.”