With Ricky Rubio’s sore back, plus the struggles of Tyler Johnson, the Phoenix Suns are eagerly awaiting Ty Jerome’s return from a Grade II ankle sprain right before the regular season opener last month.
Now, Jerome’s on-court debut in the Suns’ rotation seems close to occurring as it was announced Monday afternoon he was being assigned to their G League affiliate to shake off some rust. Jerome will play one game with the Northern Arizona Suns before returning to the NBA squad to likely make his debut on Wednesday.
There was plenty of buzz surrounding Jerome in the preseason, but the ankle injury took all the wind out of the sails. Jerome’s savviness as a primary ball handler has been a missing ingredient to the Suns’ second unit, who could pair beautifully alongside Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges. The former Virginia point guard’s sharpshooting capabilites also fit right in with Monty Williams’ philosophy.
Once Jerome returns, what will this rotation look like for Phoenix? Assuming full health for Ricky Rubio and Aron Baynes, as well as Deandre Ayton’s looming return next month, these lineups make the most sense:
Starters = Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr., Dario Saric, Deandre Ayton
Second Unit = Ty Jerome, Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Aron Baynes
This right here I believe is a very strong 9-man unit that will keep them in games almost every night. The four-man lineup featuring Jerome, Johnson, Bridges, and Baynes has the chance to be a top bench mob during the second half of the season, in my opinion.
Jerome’s absence has already been felt during the Suns’ first 16 games. Helping stabilize the point guard grouping with Jerome will go a long way to helping keep this roster in the playoff race throughout the 2019-20 season.