Phoenix Suns guard Ty Jerome had a whirlwind of a day during the 2019 draft. He was originally selected with the 24th pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, but he was soon shipped to the Boston Celtics. However, he never got a chance to wear the Celtic green as he was sent to Phoenix along with Aron Baynes, which ended up being his final landing spot. Now that Jerome is officially a Sun, what can the team expect the rookie to give them in his first season? Here are some expectations from Jerome’s first NBA campaign.
Jerome was one of the better shooters in this year’s draft. During his last year at Virginia, the point guard shot 39.9 percent from the three-point line and was absolutely deadly during the team’s championship run.
While he is still developing as an off the dribble shooter, Jerome excels in catch and shoot situations. This should be especially useful for the Suns, as they need as many shooters as possible surrounding Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.
With Jerome standing on the perimeter, defenders will be much more hesitant to double team either of the Suns biggest offensive threats. When they do, expect Jerome to knock down the open shot consistently.
Gritty, Effective Perimeter Defense
Jerome stands at 6’5, which is great size for a point guard. While his wingspan is only 6’2, Jerome makes up for it by being a scrappy defender. He frequently matched up with the opponents best perimeter player while with Virginia and usually did an excellent job on his matchup.
Jerome is not particularly athletic or quick, but he possesses a sky-high basketball IQ. This allows him to predict where his mark is going before they end up going there, and read passing lanes with ease. This ability is shown in the box score, as Jerome averaged 1.5 steals per game in his final season as a Cavalier.
The Suns will rely on Jerome to guard the better offensive backcourt player when he is paired with Booker in the lineup.
Big-time Shot Making
One description of Jerome pops up over and over again in scouting reports: Confident. Jerome shows up when the lights are the brightest. In last years 2019 Championship game, the guard flirted with a triple-double by putting up a line of 16 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. He hit a three-pointer with two seconds left in the half to give Virginia a three-point lead at the intermission and swing momentum his team’s way.
The Suns obviously already have their closer in Booker, who has proven he can hit the big shot with the game on the line. However, teams know this now and won’t hesitate to make anyone on the Suns but Booker beat them when the game comes down to the last shot. If Booker faces a double team as time runs out, Jerome will not be shy about taking a possible game-winner. It’ll certainly help the Suns to have another potential closer on their team instead of being completely reliant on Booker.