Who’s the top young player the Utah Jazz have; Keyonte George or Walker Kessler?

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Between Walker Kessler and Keyonte Georgeg, who’s the top young Utah Jazz player?

It’s a good time to be a fan of the Utah Jazz. The team is not only looking like a playoff contender this season but has a host of young players who are hoping to make an impact this year. Usually, a team only gets to have one of those things. Either they’re loaded with older talent pushing for a playoff spot or they’re loaded with young talent looking at a lottery pick.

But the Jazz are in a place where both situations are going to be running parallel to one another. They have second-year pros Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji ready to sink their teeth into meatier roles, while also watching the young rookie trios Keyonte George, Brice Sensabaugh, and Taylor Hendricks hoping to buck trends and break into the rotation this year.

And while they’re not the only young players on the squad, they are the five most cited by people. And it’s hard to deny that, especially with George and Kessler. George absolutely dominated his few NBA Summer League outings, while Kessler was one of the Jazz’s best defensive players already as a rookie.

So it’s not surprising to see Sports Illustrated debate who the best young players on the team are. They ranked eight, and not all of them should’ve been on the list. For starters, Lauri Markkanen isn’t on the list, but Simone Fontecchio is. Fontecchio is older than Markkanen.

They also had guys like Sensabaugh over Luka Samanic which is certainly a take. Rookies who have never played in the NBA should never take a spot from a more established player. You have no idea what the rookie can be, or what it would be once the season gets going.

Which is why it’s concerning they put George over Kessler for No.1. Keep in mind, George only had two or three really good games in the Summer League, certainly not a bastion of consistency. Kessler clearly has more credibility in his performances, so it’s not unfair to say he should be number one.

We know Kessler is great, but we truly don’t know what George can be. He could be a better version of Russell Westbrook, or he could be Westbrook circa 2023. Anything is possible with unknowns like George, so it’s wholly unfair to him and to the more established names to put a rookie over them.

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