Phoenix Suns sign free-agent point guard Ricky Rubio
The move means Rubio enters the 2019-2020 season ensconced as the starter with the Suns, who finished 19-63 in 2018-2019, and had entered the summer desperate for help at the point.
The franchise took Jerome, fresh off leading UVA to the program’s first national championship in 2019, with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft.
Jerome averaged 13.6 points and 5.5 assists per game for Virginia in 2018-2019, and his 3.31 assist-to-turnover ratio was fifth in the nation.
The 6’5″ guard was at his best in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, averaging 16.5 points and 6.0 assists per game, scoring in double-digits in all six of Virginia’s tourney games, including a 24-point effort against Purdue in the Elite Eight and a team-high 21 against Auburn in the Final Four.
In the championship-game win over Texas Tech, Jerome recorded 16 points, six rebounds and eight assists.
Jerome had seemed to be on his way to competing for the starting point-guard job. Incumbent starter Tyler Johnson, a five-year pro, averaged 11.1 points and 4.2 assists per game in 2018-2019, shooting 36.8 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from three-point range.
Rubio, an eight-year NBA veteran, averaged 12.7 points and 6.1 assists per game for Utah in 2018-2019.
Story by Chris Graham