J.B. Bickerstaff’s praise of Ty Jerome hints he could play big role for Cavs this season

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Back in July, former Golden State Warriors shooting guard Ty Jerome inked a two-year, $5 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff recently hinted at the notion that Jerome could have a big role for the team this season.

Jerome was selected with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after spending three seasons playing college basketball at the University of Virginia. He averaged 10-plus points and three-plus assists per game in each of his last two seasons as a member of the school’s team.

The 26-year-old guard has played for three teams — the Oklahoma City Thunder, Warriors and Phoenix Suns — across his four seasons in the NBA. He averaged 6.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in 45 games played with the storied Warriors franchise during the 2022-23 regular season (two starts). Jerome also shot the ball with impressive accuracy from the field, seeing as how he converted 48.8 percent of his field-goal attempts and 38.9 percent of his three-point attempts.

Jerome didn’t log a single minute of playing time with the Warriors during their 2023 playoff run that ended in the second round, however. Stephen Curry and the Warriors were eliminated by LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

Arguably Jerome’s best season in the NBA thus far came during the 2020-21 season, when he was a member of the Thunder. He averaged 10.7 points, 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game in 33 appearances with the Thunder during the regular season while shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from behind the three-point line.

The 2020-21 iteration of the Thunder experienced little collective success, though. They finished the regular season with a poor 22-50 record — including a 10-26 home record and 12-24 road record — and the second-worst record in the Western Conference that season ahead of only the Houston Rockets.

If Jerome can continue to impress Bickerstaff during preseason play, it’s very possible that he will start the 2023-24 regular season as a member of Cleveland’s rotation. Here’s to hoping that Jerome is in store for a career year with the Cavaliers this season.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.