Ty Jerome has been early Cavs TC standout, will be ‘hard to’ keep off floor

Cleveland Cavaliers players Darius Garland (from left), Donovan Mitchell, Ty Jerome and Max Strus pose for a photo. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers players Darius Garland (from left), Donovan Mitchell, Ty Jerome and Max Strus pose for a photo. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

A few days ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers had their unofficial start to the 2023-24 season, as on Monday, the Wine and Gold had their 2023 Media Day. After what’s been a long offseason, and a longer one than fans would’ve wanted with last year’s playoff disappointment, it’s time to turn the page.

Going into this upcoming season, there are going to be a number of new faces on this Cleveland team. Among those new players will be most notably Max Strus and Georges Niang, both of whom should give Cleveland a shooting lift, and others such as Ty Jerome and Damian Jones could be depth pieces. Jerome, in particular, seems to be an intriguing piece going into the season as well.

Jerome was a signing via two-year, $5 million deal that appeared to go under the radar from Cleveland’s offseason, back earlier in the offseason. He has bounced around in his career to some degree, and he was on a two-way deal with the Golden State Warriors last season, but with Ricky Rubio still being away from basketball to prioritize his mental health, Jerome could be in line for more opportunities.

It was also all the more relevant that on Wednesday, J.B. Bickerstaff had some high praise for Jerome’s play thus far in Cavaliers training camp, via Evan Dammarell of Right Down Euclid.

It’s early, but Jerome’s impressive start to camp is reassuring for the Cavs.

Jerome is a player who could be in position some rotational combo guard minutes for Cleveland, and while we’ll have to see what transpires with Rubio, either way, Jerome could slot in well for stretches.

He was pretty effective last season in his minutes during his two-way deal with Golden State, with 6.9 points and 3.0 assists per contest in 45 appearances with the Warriors. In those games, he shot 38.9 percent from three-point territory, albeit on an average of only 2.0 attempts.

As was previously noted, Jerome has bounced around to some degree as well, so perhaps there’s some skepticism involving his outlook. He’s set to be on his fourth team in what will be five seasons, and was up-and-down with the Oklahoma City Thunder in his two previous seasons before last.

Having said that, when Jerome has had chances to establish a rhythm, he has proven that he can be solid for stretches both on or off the ball, with him being able to make the right reads as a primary or secondary playmaker, and being a quality shooter.

In the past two seasons, Jerome has placed in the 75th and 67th percentiles, respectively, among combo guards in assist rate, per Cleaning The Glass. He’s shot 35.2 percent from three over the course of four seasons, but is a more than capable catch-and-shoot contributor when he’s out there, and he can help Cleveland push pace at various points as well.

Jerome can be a viable pick-and-roll ball handling option for some rotational stretches, too, in terms of set offense, when Darius Garland/Donovan Mitchell are being staggered. That’s something else to keep in mind for his outlook, and Jerome can hit pull-ups operating in those instances.

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While one will have to see how Jerome factors into things when the Cavaliers get the 2023-24 season started, it sounds like he’s off to a great start early on in camp. If he can make some things happen in preseason, that will only help the 26-year-old’s case. Despite his minutes variance in the NBA to this point, he’s shown that he makes winning plays.