The injured Utah Jazz rookies missing Summer League hindered their progress

Taylor Hendricks, Utah Jazz (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Taylor Hendricks, Utah Jazz (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz are behind the eight-ball after the rookies missed Summer League.

The Utah Jazz didn’t need to come into the offseason, notably the Summer League, and see every single one of their rookies be afflicted by some sort of injury. All three of the drafted rookies, Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George, and Brice Sensabaugh missed either all or some of the 2023 Las Vegas Summer League.

Hendricks missed the entire Summer League due to a strained hamstring, Sensabaugh is out due to surgery on his left knee, and George missed the last few games due to an ankle injury that was said to not be serious.

While George and Hendricks will be ready for camp unless something seriously goes awry, Sensabaugh is a different story. His repaired knee may be ready for camp, but complications can always crop up, especially with the knee. Ask any doctor, they’ll tell you there is never a “minor knee operation”. It’s either re-building a ligament or it’s shaving away cartilage. Either way, that puts him in a precarious position.

The injuries aren’t part of this situation, however, that is worrying. What is worrying is that three potential key contributors, missed significant time this offseason already, putting them behind the eight-ball. Now, let’s not over-sell the Summer League, missing it isn’t going to ruin a career.

What will happen, more than likely, is at least one of these three will be less developed than the others come camp time. This is something that is very likely to happen and will more than likely affect the development of one if not all three of the players.

It likely won’t ruin a career, that would be the extreme end of the situation, but it will take them longer to adapt to the game than other rookies across the league. Everyone will tell you, playing real games is always better for development than just practice or drills.

Even though it was against rookies and future G-Leaguers, the competition would not only have helped us establish where the three men are but also what they need to work on heading into camp. Now, it’s very likely we won’t find out the big holes in their game until much later in the process.

It’s important we don’t overblow the situation, none of these three are going to see their careers ruined from missing Summer League due to injury, but the timetable to see what the Jazz have with them will not be as soon as everyone else. It may be an extra month or two before we really know who can go right now and who needs time to develop.

Next. 5 of the best Utah Jazz players from the 2023 Summer League. dark