2021-22 Thunder player grades: Ty Jerome

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(Editor’s note: We are starting individual grades for all players from the 2021-22 Oklahoma City Thunder. To access other reviews as part of this ongoing series, click here.)

With the 2021-22 regular season now officially in the books, the Oklahoma City Thunder (24-58) finished their season with the fourth-best lottery odds. This means it is now time for individual player grades for all 26 players who suited up for the team this season during the 82 games. The grades will be determined by what the season expectations were for each player and how they lived up to them.

The fourteenth player in the installment is Ty Jerome, whose season was cut short due to sports hernia removal surgery.

2021-22 statistics

7.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists on 37.8 percent shooting and 29 percent three-point shooting in 48 games.

Significant Advanced Statistics

Isolation scorer: 95.3 percentile

3P-plus: 82

On-off net rating per 100 possessions: plus-6.2

Spot up shooter: 20.7 percentile

Catch & shoot shooter: 29.9 percent three-point shooting

Pick & roll handler: 64.3 percentile

Contract

2022-23: $4.2 million

Thoughts

In the grand scheme of things, Ty Jerome took a step back this season as he was played out of the rotation due to the addition of new guards and his three-point shot regressing from last season.

Jerome went from averaging 24 minutes a game last season to 17 minutes this season. A big reason for this is probably due to the additions of Josh Giddey and Tre Mann — who are both first-round guards that the team drafted in the 2021 NBA Draft. While Jerome can be a nice player, his ceiling is nowhere near those two young players. Jerome’s age (24 years old) and contract (one year left on rookie deal) probably also played a role in his limited minutes as well as the Thunder probably think he is nearly, if not already, a finished product.

The Thunder should prioritize Giddey and Mann over Jerome; I do not really think that is up for debate. With that established, there are only so many minutes the team can distribute to their guards and Jerome is one of the players who got the short end of the stick. His three-point shooting taking a significant dip probably didn’t help his case either, as he went from 42.3 percent on over five attempts last season to just 29 percent on four attempts this season.

While Jerome is a decent ball handler and tries on defense, his bread and butter is his outside shooting. If he cannot provide league average shooting like he didn’t this season, then it’s hard to find a role for Jerome on an NBA team that gives him consistent minutes.

Final Grade

Overall, Jerome took a decently-sized step back from last season, which does not help his case of being on the Thunder for the long term. Jerome will be rookie extension eligible this summer, but I will be utterly shocked if the Thunder decide to extend him. There’s just not enough minutes for him on the team and the team does not lack talent at guard considering it can be argued that the four most important players on the team currently are Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort and Tre Mann.

While Jerome might still carve out a decent career as a bench guard, that doesn’t seem likely to happen in Oklahoma City. I am confident that Jerome’s outside shooting will improve as it is hard to see him being such a poor three-point shooter as he was this season — which can be explained off with his sports hernia injury. But then again, I think last season’s elite outside shooting is not sustainable either. Jerome’s true talent of being an outside shooter probably lies somewhere in the middle, where he is a league average shooter.

With just one year left on his current rookie deal, I would not be surprised to see Jerome either traded or waived this offseason. He simply does not fit the Thunder’s timeline or roster construction. The odds of him not being on the team at the beginning of next season only increases if the Thunder select another guard with one of its three first-round picks.

Like Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in his exit interview, there will be tough roster cuts happening in the near future. Jerome is a candidate for being a causality due to the roster construction, age and contract situation.

Final Grade: C

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