The Trail Blazers’ memorable postseason run might be over, but the the 2019 NBA Draft is right around the corner. Portland’s President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey currently has the No. 25 pick in the draft at his disposal and he will look to supplement the Blazers’ roster with a talented prospect in the latter stages of the first round. Today we look at Virginia Cavaliers guard Ty Jerome.
- Height: 6’5.5”
- Weight: 195
- Wingspan: 6’4”
- Shooting Hand: Right
- Position: Guard
- Age: 21
- Projected Draft Range: 24-36
- PTS: 13.6 | Per 40: 16.0
- REB: 4.2 | Per 40: 5.0
- AST: 5.5 | Per 40: 6.4
- STL: 1.5 | Per 40: 1.8
- FG%: 43.5
- 3P%: 39.9
- FT%: 73.6
There’s a lot to like about Ty Jerome, a 6-foot-5 guard with a smooth shooting stroke that should translate to the next level. The New York native can shoot from distance off screens and cuts, but he is also comfortable attempting dribble pull-ups from both mid-range and three. Of the 79 three-pointers he made this year, 25 were unassisted, per Hoop-Math.com. He’s an exceptional ball-handler that showed excellent vision and touch on his passes. With a high basketball IQ and unselfish attitude, he consistently creates opportunities for his teammates. His efforts as a passer led to an ACC-best 5.5 assists per game average.
Those skills blend to make Jerome a proficient pick-and-roll initiator. He’s extremely shifty. Armed with footwork most players can only dream of, he produces deceptive ball fakes that generate space. On top of all that, he’s a relentless defender—which allowed him to overcome his physical limitations inside a top-ranked Cavaliers defense. Jerome often put himself in the right position to make a play, which propelled him to a team-leading 1.5 steals per game.
The biggest thing holding Jerome back is his lack of elite athleticism and length. After playing at a snail’s pace under coach Tony Bennett, his lack of explosion has the potential to be exposed at the next level. Craftiness and footwork won’t always be enough to create shots for himself or others. Jerome’s lack of speed also hurts him as a below-the-rim finisher. Even in college, he routinely had to settle for floaters in the lane. Jerome has to overcome a sizable hurdle regarding his athleticism in order to be counted on for dependable production.
Jerome was one of the main forces driving Virginia to a National Championship trophy. He posted 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds in the final victory over Texas Tech. Along with his heroics in the title game, Jerome crossed the double-digit threshold in all six of Virginia’s NCAA Tournament victories. His work as a primary facilitator on a 35-win Cavaliers squad earned him an All-ACC spot at the conclusion of the season.
Due to his shooting, Jerome possesses clear value as a late-first or early-second round draft pick. Similar to how Landry Shamet came into the league and had an immediate impact for the 76ers and Clippers, Jerome can come off the bench and contribute on offense. If he falls to a team with a sound defensive structure, he can be relied upon to play hard and communicate properly. Despite his noteworthy physical limitations, his experience as a scorer and facilitator should earn him a spot as a reserve point guard.
It’s no secret that the Blazers need to surround Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum with reliable offense. Rodney Hood and Seth Curry could depart this summer and it might behoove the Blazers to add another multi-faceted guard to run alongside Anfernee Simons. His pick-and-roll proficiency is a clear asset in a Blazers offense that utilizes a lot of high screen-and-roll actions.
As mentioned above, Simons’ place on the roster complicates Jerome’s fit. The Blazers need frontcourt depth. Olshey should have options at small forward when it comes time for Portland to make its selection. Jerome projects to be a solid role player, but Simons’ ascension should place the Blazers’ focus elsewhere.
Do you want to see Jerome in a Blazers jersey next season? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!