Ty Jerome has had a spectacular season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Through 32 games this season, he's averaging 10.3 points and 3.7 assists on .420 from beyond the arc as OKC's best bench player.
Jerome was a 4-star high school recruit that turned into a huge success in college at the University Virginia. He played three solid college seasons with a career that was capped off by an NCAA Championship.
From there, he would go on to become the No. 24 overall pick in 2019 NBA Draft, selected by the Phoenix Suns. Due to a string of injuries, Jerome only appeared in 31 games as a rookie and even when he was on the floor, sometimes looked lost in the speed and style of the NBA game.
After just one season in Phoenix, he was traded to the Thunder as part of the Chris Paul deal. At that point, Jerome would get a fresh start on a rebuilding team where he would get plenty of opportunity.
The injury concerns with Jerome continued into his second NBA season, missing the first part of his sophomore season in OKC with an ankle injury he suffered on first day of training camp. After a several week rehabilitation process, he was sent to the G League bubble, where he would slowly be worked back into game shape and get into the flow of the Thunder system. He impressed early on with the OKC Blue, averaging 12.1 points through nine games while gaining confidence before being recalled back up to the Thunder in late February.
While Jerome played great initially with the Thunder, he has only gotten better as the season has gone on. After averaging just 3.3 points and and 1.4 assists in his rookie season on .280 from deep, his progression has been exponential.
Through his first 18 games of the 2020-21 season, Jerome was slowly integrated into the Thunder lineup, averaging 8.9 points and 3.6 assists on .386 from deep. Since April 8, he's taken things to a new level, producing 12.1 points and 3.7 assists per game on .459 from deep through his last last 14 contests. In fact, through this stretch of games where he's increased his productivity, Jerome has actually played fewer minutes, showing just how much he's adapted to the NBA game and gotten more efficient with experience.
While his numbers on the surface show that he's a clear scorer, there's more to it when you break down Jerome's game. He's an elite 3-point shooter, as well as facilitator and passer. His .420 average from deep this season is second on the team.
Additionally, his 3.7 assists per contest are second to only Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who hasn't played since March. Due to this, Jerome has actually led the team in assists and been a huge key to facilitating offense off the bench.
Standing at 6-foot-5, Jerome can do a little bit of everything offensively and is comfortable playing both guard positions. A complete playmaker, he truly is a driving factor in the offensive success of Oklahoma City.
In the scoring department, he's notched two 20+ point games, seven 15+ point games and 18 in double-figures. As a 3-point sniper, he's had 12 games this season with 3+ threes made, two with five made and one with six made 3-pointers. As a passer and facilitator, Jerome has logged 11 games with at least 5 assists as well.
As good as Ty Jerome has been this season, he's still barely scratched the surface of his potential at this level. Although he is already wrapping up his sopomore season, he is just 23 years old and has only played in a total of 63 NBA games to this point. As his role continues to expand, Jerome is proving to be a core piece of the Thunder's rebuild and is projecting to be one of the best young bench scorers in the league.