Second-year guard Ty Jerome was one of Oklahoma City's breakout players last season.
Offensively, Jerome has all the tools in his bag to become a sensational bench player, and one day maybe even a starter in the league.
Here are SI Thunder's grades for Jerome's second NBA season:
Nick Crain's Grade: A-
Although the Thunder got a first-round pick from the Phoenix Suns, Ty Jerome might have been the best asset they got back in that trade. The No. 24 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Jerome was spectacular in his first season with OKC.
Things did get off to a rocky start to his time in Oklahoma City as he suffered an ankle injury on the first day of practice. This was a trend that continued from his rookie season in Phoenix, where he appeared in 31 games through year one.
After spending time in the G League to kick off his 2020-21 season, Jerome became one of the Thunder’s best players. When it came to the OKC bench unit having success, it typically started with Jerome. In a bench role, he was a spark plug that averaged 10.7 points in just 23.9 minutes per game while shooting 42.3 percent from deep.
The Thunder bench produced the ninth-most points per game in the NBA this season, in large part due to Jerome.
Not only was Jerome a high-caliber scorer, but also an excellent facilitator. Playing a bit of both guard positions throughout the season, he averaged 3.6 assists per game, good for second-best on the entire team.
While he still has some work to do on the defensive end, Jerome overall had a great season with the Thunder. Although it’s still early, he’s projecting to be a key bench scorer going forward, even long-term when OKC is once again a playoff contender.
Recommended for You
Derek Parker's Grade: A-
Perhaps Oklahoma City’s most surprising breakout, Ty Jerome is the Thunder’s newest spark plug scorer.
Jerome got his first Thunder minutes in the G-League bubble, suffering an ankle injury in the preseason.
After spending a majority of his rookie season in Phoenix hurt, it seemed Jerome couldn’t get healthy.
But then, he did.
Jerome’s game was clearly too advanced for the G-League. The numbers weren’t amazing, but it was clear he was operating at an NBA level already.
In the league, he continued to build and then some. He averaged more points than any other Thunder bench scorer at 10.7, and dished out 3.6 assists per game, second only to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Most importantly, Jerome improved his three-point shooting to 42 percent on 5.1 attempts per game, and extended his range to a spot where few players dare to go.
In proving he belonged in the NBA this season, Jerome also proved he’ll be a major piece for OKC going forward.