What Ty Jerome brings to the Cleveland Cavaliers next season

Ty Jerome, Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Ty Jerome, Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Just one day after free agency began, the Cleveland Cavaliers already had added two sharpshooters by signing Georges Niang and trading for Max Strus from Miami (via sign-and-trade). In the midst of these moves, the Cavaliers also re-signed last year’s sixth man Caris LeVert for the next two seasons. Cleveland’s bench was filling up, but their offseason seemed to be far from over.

Every Cleveland fan impatiently waited to see the next move. The Cavs needed help on the post behind Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, and the guard rotation still felt incomplete.

Those questions would be answered soon enough, as Cleveland swiftly traded for Utah Jazz center Damian Jones. Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Cavaliers then signed Ty Jerome to a two-year, $5 million deal. Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported how although the Golden State Warriors extended Jerome a minimum qualifying offer last week, Cleveland made it so the Warriors had no plans to match that offer, because of the cost and number of years.

Jerome’s deal is just slightly above the veteran minimum for players with his experience, leaving the Cavaliers with some remaining flexibility for another budget free agent.

How does Ty Jerome impact the Cavaliers?

The first plus in Jerome is his size. Standing at 6-foot-5, he adds size to Cleveland’s undersized backcourt. Signing the former Warrior (who was on a two-way deal last season) gives the Cavaliers a taller guard to operate off of the bench and orchestrate the offense.

In four seasons, Jerome has played for three teams. Last year, he came off the bench behind Stephen Curry, in 18.1 minutes per game in his appearances with Golden State. In those, Jerome shot a 38.9 percent 3-point percentage on two attempts each night out. He averaged 6.9 points, 3 assists and only 0.7 turnovers per game. His efficient offense and playmaking at a soon-to-be 26 years old helps Cleveland’s star-studded guard duo rest while maintaining the team’s presence on the court.

A downfall in the young guard is his games played, though. Jerome has yet to play in 50 games in a single season, playing only 45 last season with Golden State, largely because of the two-way. Bringing him to Cleveland on a cheap contract limits that risk, especially as the Cavaliers have held onto veteran Ricky Rubio. Likely, Jerome and Rubio will split the bench responsibilities with one another.

Jerome, in a sense, is the replacement for Raul Neto who played for the Cavs when Rubio was out or the team needed his energy. Jerome’s skill set is not identical to Neto, but what he brings to the table might be more what the Cavaliers need.

Cleveland has searched high and low this offseason to bolster their long range shooting potential and size. Ty Jerome checks both these boxes without forcing the Cavs to forfeit their cap flexibility or current roster composition.

Defensively, Jerome has never been extraordinary, but he can play within a system. Jerome will likely never play without one of Cleveland’s better defenders with him in LeVert, Isaac Okoro, or their dynamic frontcourt of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. As long as Jerome can direct opponents into bad positioning that allows one of his teammates to help, then he will do fine.

Jerome is not an addition that is going to drop the jaws of audiences everywhere, but he is a steady role player that will have a positive impact in Cleveland.

A definite positive in signing Jerome is that the Cavs are wasting no time in showing Donovan Mitchell they intend to build a true contender around him and their young core. After their blockbuster trade that brought Mitchell to Cleveland, their depth and future assets for other deals was diminished significantly. This offseason, the Cavaliers have already added three shooters, one being the starting wing in the recent NBA Finals, and a backup big.

Jerome has proven his ability to play alongside great guards and lead the second unit for competitive teams. In Cleveland, he will be a valued rotation player with little risk attached.

Next. 3 ways new sharpshooter Max Strus helps the Cavs. dark

His addition is another on a long list of home run swings thus far by Cleveland’s President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman.