The Jazz entered the NBA draft looking to fill a need at the guard position. With the team seemingly looking to grab a playmaking ball handler, it seemed like a bit of a questionable decision to take a wing at No. 9 overall, but only for a few moments.
The Jazz made a second selection in round one of the draft, and with the 16th overall pick, Utah took a shot in the dark with Baylor star Keyonte George.. Now the question is, can George fill the void the Jazz have as a playmaker? Maybe so.
Can Keyonte George be the primary playmaker for the Jazz?
George entered the NBA without playing an abundance of meaningful minutes as a primary ball handler in college. Nonetheless, in his time in Summer League, the 6-foot-4 combo guard not only showed that he could be a facilitator, but he also proved just why the Jazz selected him in the first round with his offensive game. In three games in Las Vegas, the 19-year-old averaged 21.7 points, 6.3 assists, and 2.7 rebounds on 52.3% shooting from field goal range and 44.4% from three. Saying George’s Summer League performances hint at a sign of a star in the making may be jumping the gun, but it’s worth noting the potential on display.
While there’s still no guarantee as to how the Jazz will use George on the main roster, the team giving the young guard the chance to run the offense this Summer shows that they at least have an interest in developing him to be a playmaker for them. The court vision for George is there, and if he can continue to improve as a passer, he has a real shot at being the team’s primary ball handler in a couple of years.
If Will Hardy can put George in position to succeed and use his strengths on the court like he’s done with current players in Utah, it could be scary for opposing backcourts to defend. Regardless, George will still have to put in the work to develop his game to get to that position, but with the right players and coaching personnel surrounding him, it’s safe to say the young prospect has all the tools to turn into the primary playmaker for the Jazz.