The Utah Jazz have high hopes for Keyonte George
The Utah Jazz drafted Tayler Hendricks 9th overall in the 2023 NBA Draft, setting up the young forward to be a big piece of the 2023-2024 season, but a John Collins trade later and it looks like the Jazz will play the young lad off the bench. Despite Hendricks coming off the bench, one rookie, Keyonte George, is seemingly in line to start for the Jazz, barring any major trades.
George, who went seven spots later at 16th overall, had an up-and-down summer. In the Utah Jazz’s Summer League, George looked interesting but inconsistent, with many wondering if he could score regularly as a rookie to warrant a spot in the rotation. Then in the NBA’s Summer League, George looked much better, scoring at a higher rate and playing all-around good basketball.
Even though it was a handful of games, and not nearly as many as he had in his first summer league outing, many started to see the possibilities of George as a starter for the Jazz. It wasn’t just the fans or the NBA media who saw this either, as NBA insiders Tim MacMahon and Zach Lowe touched on George’s potential recently on an episode of the Lowe Post Podcast (via SLC Dunk).
MacMahon went on the podcast and said that of all three rookies, George is looking the most ready to start the season with the team. He even goes on to say the Jazz are looking at George as a possible “lead guard for the club”
That said, what does that mean for the Jazz? Well, clearly they want to play George as much as possible, but to the point that he’s the starting point guard for the Jazz? That’s the question. While he did do well during his few games in Las Vegas during the NBA Summer League, he was playing against other rookies and players who were fighting to prove they belonged on an NBA roster.
Not exactly the cream of the crop. George may be a good scorer but the Jazz have that in spades right now. The rookie guard has got to prove that he can be a good player for the Jazz in other ways, namely as a passer. If he can’t prove that, he’ll likely not start for the Jazz any time soon, if at all.