Taylor Hendricks is not having a good rookie season for the Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz rookie is not having the best season imaginable.
Washington Wizards v Utah Jazz
Washington Wizards v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

When the Utah Jazz selected Taylor Hendricks with the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the conversation immediately went to finding ways to get him playing time. The idea of trading Kelly Olynyk and John Collins became a topic of conversation before Collins had even taken the court, and the notion was that Hendricks was going to be the future of the team. No one knew that of the trio, it would be Keyonte George who looked the best.

Hendricks would end up getting a slow burn of sorts, playing a lot more in the G-Leauge than many expected, and then sitting on the bench for a while longer. Eventually, Hendricks would start getting minutes and even some start as the season got away from the Jazz, and while it's way to early in his career to determine whether or not he'll be successful, it's not too early to say that he's been bad this season.

He's had six starts and appeared in 23 total games, and in that time he's averaging 5.8 points per game, 4.0 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 0.6 assists. The per-game stats aren't the worst thing, as again, he's not played a lot, but the concern is that he's not making shots. Shots he's supposed to make.

At first glance, you may think his shooting splits are good, as he's shooting 44% from the floor, just under 34% from three, and just under 82% from the free throw line. Yet, what his splits don't tell you is that his shot selection isn't great. He's shooting 76% from around the basket (within three feet), but he's only taking about 18% of his shots from that range. He's averaging nearly 60% of his shots from the three-point line, which is just shy of Johnny Juzang and Simone Fonteccho's stats for the season.

It's concerning this is what he's doing, and it's either his action in-game or the decision of Will Hardy, and either way he has to stop that. The Jazz need him to be more physical underneath, and as a power forward you'd expect that. Especially with his rate of success from underneath compared to shooting threes.

He'll score more points at the clip he's shooting if the Jazz set him in the paint more often. Having him struggle to hit threes isn't helping him.

Of course, none of this touches his defensive struggles, which to be fair, aren't as severe as George's. He's had a rough rookie year and the hype around him is certainly gone. That doesn't mean he's done as a prospect to keep in mind for next season, but there isn't anyone who's going to say that this was the season they had envisioned for the Top 10 pick.