UTAH JAZZ

Keyonte George NBA Draft Analysis

May 4, 2023, 3:32 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2023, 3:29 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz own three first-round selections in the 2023 NBA draft, and one of the players they’ll consider in June is Baylor guard Keyonte George.

With a top 10 pick, the 16th pick, and the 28th pick in the first round, the Jazz will work out an enormous swath of players projected to be selected throughout the draft.

Let’s look at how likely lottery pick Keyonte George performed in his lone season at Baylor, and how he’d fit with the Jazz.

Keyonte George Strengths

Averages: 15.3 ppg | 4.2 RPG | 2.8 APG | 37 FG% | 33 3Pt % | 79 FT%

Despite being listed at 6-foot-4 and 185 lbs, George has one of the better frames among first-year guards projected to be selected in the lottery.

The Baylor freshman has a stocky, strong build that ought to be able to handle the rigors of the NBA game, even early in his career.

Though he’s not an elite athlete, George has excellent body control and navigates the court with the ball in his hands, getting to his spots where he excels as a scorer, averaging 15.3 points per game.

The guard is an adept scorer with the ball in his hands showing strong handles and an ability to get to his spots on the floor and in rhythm. He has a chance to be one of the more prolific scorers from this draft as he matures, and his game already resembles that of some of the league’s best perimeter players.

While consistency remains an issue, George scored 20 or more in 12 of his 33 appearances at Baylor and knocked down multiple three-pointers in 66 percent of his games.

The freshman had more games (13) in which he hit three or more three-pointers than he did one or fewer (11).

George’s 4.2 rebounds are a strong number, and 79 percent free-throw shooting on 4.5 attempts per game

Defensively, the freshman’s frame and strong balance made him a steady defender. As he ages, it wouldn’t be an enormous surprise if he became a very capable defender at the NBA level.

Keyonte George Weaknesses

Though George’s best quality is his ability to score, his poor efficiency is a red flag.

The guard has the ability to hit difficult shots, but needs to trim down the number of bad shots he takes each game to up his efficiency numbers.

A lot of George’s damage was done on the offensive end at the three-point line or in the mid-range, but he would benefit from making a more consistent effort to get to the rim.

His frame allows him to finish well through contact, though his good-but-not-great athleticism doesn’t allow him to finish above the rim, and that will only get more difficult in the NBA.

Additionally, George’s playmaking remains a work in progress. While he did share the backcourt with two other very good guards at Baylor, his negative assist-to-turnover ratio is not a terrific sign for his ability to initiate an offense at the next level.

Though his build is strong, he doesn’t have elite size for a two-guard in the NBA, and isn’t a strong enough passer to run an offense on his own.

While much of this could be attributed to his inexperience, George gets caught ball-watching on the perimeter and was susceptible to backdoor cuts and late rotations. If he never becomes a more efficient scorer, his defense will have to make serious strides to allow him to see the floor consistently.

Keyonte George Overall

George’s modern offensive game has shades of Donovan Mitchell, Jamal Murray, and Devin Booker which could place him highly on draft boards, even among other score-first guards.

Elite scorers are still the league’s most valuable asset, and George could easily find himself in the conversation with Scoot Henderson and Victor Wembanyama as the three best go-to scoring options in the draft when we look back on the lottery several years down the line.

However, he also has more boom-or-bust potential than some other players projected to go in the lottery due to his poor efficiency, still developing playmaking and middle-tier athleticism.

Like most high-level college scorers, NBA spacing should unlock more aspects of his game, but he’ll need time to develop his game at the next level.

Where Will Keyonte George Get Drafted?

Due to his production over the first half of his freshman season at Baylor, and his potential as a go-to scoring option, George has wide draft range beginning with the Utah Jazz at pick nine, and stretching to the Golden State Warriors at pick 19.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Keyonte George NBA Draft Analysis