The two most notable moves the Cleveland Cavaliers made this offseason were the signings of George Niang for three years and $26 million and their acquisition of Max Strus via sign-and-trade from the Miami Heat. Strus’ deal was for four years and $63 million.
Other moves the Wine and Gold made were the re-signing of Caris LeVert for two years and $32 million, a trade to add Damian Jones from the Utah Jazz and the signing of Ty Jerome by way of a two-year deal for $5 million. The Cavs would go on to sign the likes of Isaiah Mobley, Emoni Bates, their 49th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and Craig Porter Jr. to two-way contracts.
Of the moves, the Jerome signing was not going to generate a ton of buzz among Cavaliers fans, but it may be an underrated add for depth.
Jerome, who is a former first-round pick in 2019 by the Phoenix Suns, has bounced around in his four NBA seasons to this point. For this Cleveland squad, though, he might be able to find a consistent role sooner than later, because of his combo guard abilities, and him being pretty competent defensively on the perimeter.
But in fairness, there is a key potential drawback to him being regularly in the Wine and Gold’s rotation, which we’ll get into later here.
To those points, we’ll examine the two biggest positives and the biggest downside to Jerome being a Cavs rotational regular.
The first pro pertains to Jerome’s shooting.
Pro No. 1: More shooting on the floor
When Jerome has had regular opportunities to make things happen, he’s shown he can give his teams a shooting lift.
Last season with the Golden State Warriors, even with him then on a two-way contract, Jerome did demonstrate he can bring some pop off the bench in that realm. He converted on 38.9 percent of his three-point shot attempts, and had 6.9 points in 18.1 minutes per game, which were more than respectable splits, given the circumstances. He was in action in 45 games then.
With the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jerome was far more inconsistent from three, hitting only 29.0 percent of his deep balls with them in 2021-22, but if more of his looks come from off-ball situations there, that could make a difference. He did also connect on 42.3 percent from three the season prior with OKC, also in a larger role with 23.9 minutes per outing as opposed to the year following at 16.7.
Granted, in stretches in this case, he could at minimum enhance Cleveland’s spacing as a viable catch-and-shoot player with range. In instances where Garland or Mitchell are staggered, that could give Cleveland more shooting as opposed to if Ricky Rubio were involved more.
Along with the off-ball element in times where he’d be involved as a combo guard, Jerome is a player who can hit looks operating in some pick-and-roll situations inside the arc with pull-ups and/or floaters. He’s shown he can make those sorts of shots after hard closeouts, too, which are areas where Rubio is streaky, in instances he’s not passing to others, which can’t be all the time.