Breaking down the Utah Jazz's 3 rookies from the 2023 NBA Draft

George, Hendricks, and Sensabaugh represent Utah's first steps towards building a title contender.
Boston Celtics v Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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#3 Keyonte George | Guard

Keyonte George, Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic
George weaves his way between Denver defenders / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

Keyonte George was a fascinating prospect in his draft class. With good size (he stands at 6'4") and an NBA-ready offensive style, he looks like a great rookie for any team to pick up. At Baylor, though, his scoring efficiency brought up many questions about how effective he could be as an offensive weapon when his team needs him to be.

Danny Ainge saw brilliance in George's game and knew it would translate well to the NBA. After a few games in the league, it was clear that George shared many attributes with Leslie Knope of Pawnee, Indiana. He's scrappy like a terrier. He's smooth like a blended whiskey. He has big ideas and big feelings and he's not afraid to express them.

In the high school recruiting class of 2022, George was a 5-star athlete from the prestigious IMG Academy whose athleticism and clear shooting talents made him a coveted recruit. In his one-and-done season with Baylor, George averaged 15 points per game on a very talented team whose Final Four aspirations were squashed by an Elite Eight-bound Creighton squad. Though his scoring efficiency raised some red flags that kept him off of the lottery team's draft boards, his natural talent and work ethic are clearly visible to anyone who watches him play.

Keyonte's game moved from college hoops to the NBA much like an English speaker listening to pig Latin--it translated easily. I've heard from some who watch him that he doesn't play like the fastest player on the court or even the most athletic. His game is so smooth and under control that it often looks slow. Any defense who sees him as a slow player is going to learn that his game is deliberate, not uncertain. George has a game that was built for NBA basketball, and he's still improving.