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Ty Jerome inches back from injury, assigned to NAZ Suns

Ty Jerome of the Phoenix Suns poses for a portrait during the 2019 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on August 11, 2019 at the Ferguson Recreation Center in Madison, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns assigned rookie Ty Jerome to the Northern Arizona Suns on Monday, a likely sign he is close to returning from a preseason injury.

Jerome has missed the first 16 games of the year due to a right ankle sprain.

He did, however, appear in four preseason games, averaging 6.8 points, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steal in 17.0 minutes per outing.

The No. 24 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft was acquired by Phoenix in the deal with the Boston Celtics that also led center Aron Baynes to the Suns. Phoenix traded the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2020 first-round pick to Boston in that deal.

Depending on how many G League games are needed to get Jerome in game shape and what happens with the NBA squad over that time, the Suns could immediately consider Jerome as a rotation piece.

With starting point guard Ricky Rubio injured (back) at present, Phoenix has relied on combo guard Tyler Johnson to start at point guard. Head coach Monty Williams has turned to second-year pros Jevon Carter and Elie Okobo at the backup point guard spot, with Okobo earning more minutes over the last four games.

Okobo played a season-high 28 minutes Sunday in a 116-104 loss to the Denver Nuggets and finished with 16 points and four assists on 6-of-11 shooting.

His 40% accuracy from three and play-making abilities (3.0 assists in 13.4 minutes per game) could give him a leg-up on Carter and Jerome as Williams continues to solidify his backup point guard spot once Rubio returns.

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