Chicago Bulls’ 2019 NBA Draft prospects: Ty Jerome is the real deal

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

In the 2019 NBA Draft, Virginia’s Ty Jerome will likely be selected in the later part of the first round. Should the Chicago Bulls make an attempt to get him?

The Chicago Bulls need to improve at the point guard position if they want to compete for a playoff spot next year. The two most obvious ways of doing this are selecting someone like Ja Morant, Darius Garland or Coby White with their first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft or signing a veteran in free agency like Ricky Rubio. But there are always ways to get more creative. For example, the Bulls could move some pieces around and try and add another first round pick in hopes of selecting someone like Ty Jerome.

The Virginia guard had a phenomenal junior season. He averaged 13.6 points, 5.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game and was the leader of one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history.

Remember when Virginia was the first No. 1 seed to ever lose to a No. 16 seed? Well, one year later, this was them:

Virginia was a well-rounded team, but there’s no way they would’ve been on top of the basketball world in 2019 without their fearless leader, Ty Jerome.

Jerome wasn’t the best scorer, the most athletic leaper or the most talented player on the team, but he was the catalyst on both offense and defense. He was the engine that made Virginia go. He rarely turned the ball over (1.7 TOs per game), he was an efficient shooter from beyond the 3-point arc (39.9% on 5.4 attempts per game) and he was an incredible defender.

His lack of athleticism limits him in some aspects, but he uses his 6’5″ frame, wonderful court vision and unique floater package to find ways to impact the game offensively. He simply does a little bit of everything. He’s a floor general.

The Chicago Bulls could use a guy like that.

Jerome wouldn’t provide Chicago with as much excitement as guys like Ja Morant, Darius Garland or Coby White, but he’d give them consistency, balance and dependability – things that aren’t easy to find but are invaluable when you find them.

Because of Jerome’s draft stock and the Bulls’ likely draft position, it’s a long shot that Chicago winds up selecting Jerome, but there’s a world where it’s possible. If the Bulls decided to shop their second-round pick in combination with a young bench player, they could maybe move into the later part of the first round and put themselves in position to take Jerome.

Of course, that would only make sense if they don’t select a point guard with their first pick. For example, if the Bulls wanted to use their first pick on a guy like Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter, they could target Jerome with their second pick.

The back half of the first round isn’t where you’d typically expect to find a starting caliber point guard, but it’s been done multiple times in recent years. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Tyus Jones are all good examples of quality point guards selected in the later part of the first round. Those guys aren’t sure-fire All-Stars, but they’re solid players. And sometimes, solid is good enough.

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I would still prefer the Bulls use their first pick on a point guard (unless they can get Zion Williamson or R.J. Barret) and then target someone like Kyle Guy or Naz Reid in the second round. But if they opt into a wing with their first pick, they should definitely consider moving some pieces in an attempt to land Ty Jerome. He won’t be the sexy pick, but he’s the real deal.

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