When Ty Jerome was signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his arrival was one that was overshadowed by Cleveland’s moves to bring in Max Strus and Georges Niang. Cleveland brought back Caris LeVert on a two-way deal as well, and those moves were going to receive more of the pub as it pertains to the offseason for the Cavaliers.
Jerome’s signing was one that was a sound move by the Cavs, too, though. His deal was a team-friendly one for two years and $5 million.
Jerome could give the Cavaliers productive bench minutes on the perimeter when Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell are staggered, and he could feasibly play with or off of Caris LeVert, among others.
Jerome’s not going to put up huge numbers, and was on a two-way deal last year with the Golden State Warriors, but he could be a quality contributor if given the chances.
He gave Golden State nice minutes when he was involved for them in the 2022-23 campaign. Plus, with Ricky Rubio’s situation being an uncertain one at the moment with him taking a hiatus from basketball activities to address his mental health, Jerome could be a rotational regular earlier on than previously expected.
If that occurs, he could seemingly cement himself with Cleveland, too.
Jerome can cement himself in the Cavaliers’ rotation early.
Jerome should receive some meaningful combo guard minutes for Cleveland, and with him being a capable catch-and-shoot threat, he could feasibly fit in varying lineups alongside Garland, Mitchell and/or others.
Jerome connected on 38.9 percent of his three-point attempts last season with the Warriors, and despite minutes limitations with his opportunities over his four seasons, he has had his moments as a shooter from deep. Additionally, Jerome’s pull-up shooting to counter catch-and-shoots, and in pick-and-roll, and reserve playmaking has given his clubs a lift, so perhaps that could carry forward for the Cavaliers.
Dating back to his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the two preceding seasons to last year, Jerome has shown promise when he’s been given the opportunities to be a rotational regular. And he’s demonstrated he makes winning plays in stretches initiating for others for the Warriors and Thunder, but also how he can mesh well playing off of stars and key on-ball options.
Jerome isn’t going to be the passer Rubio is, however, Jerome is still a solid playmaking presence, and in the past two seasons, even with minutes variance, he has aided his teams’ movement in that sense. Last year, he had 3.0 assists per outing in 45 appearances with Golden State, and had 2.8 assists in 19.6 minutes per game in two years with OKC.
With a good playmaker in LeVert in the fold as well, and with Jerome’s off-ball viability on offense as a header mover, cutter and shooter, that could lead potentially lead to him being an upgrade over Rubio at this stage, given the injury concerns with the veteran, also. Rubio could end up bouncing back next season after he was not himself after returning from his ACL injury from the year prior, if he is back eventually, but it’s tough to forecast if that will play out.
Looking onward, if Jerome proves to be more viable than Rubio, or if Rubio does not return, it wouldn’t seem far-fetched for Rubio’s deal to be involved as part of a potential trade package at some point for forward depth. Rubio has often been suggested as a possible candidate to be traded as well, seemingly. Or if Rubio does stick around, if Jerome is viable, Rubio’s veteran mentorship could still be impactful behind the scenes for the Cavs, anyhow.
Overall, while he’ll have to have a solid preseason, if Jerome receives opportunities fairly early next year, he could become a fixture in Cleveland’s rotation perhaps sooner than later, and in turn, maybe be a steal signing.