NBA DRAFT

No. 16 Pick Keyonte George Has High Praise For Other Jazz First-Round Picks

Jun 22, 2023, 10:07 PM | Updated: Jun 26, 2023, 12:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Baylor guard Keyonte George was the Utah Jazz’s second selection in the 2023 NBA Draft.

The No. 16 overall pick called into the KSL Sports Live Draft Show to give some initial reactions on his selection.

“Utah was definitely a place that I liked throughout this process,” George said. “I feel like I was destined to be here. I’m very blessed and very grateful that I ended up in a great organization like this”

Thousands of kids dream to make it to the NBA. However, less than 500 people play in any given season. George said that the realization first hit him during the pre-draft process.

“I would say towards the end of the season. Going through this pre-draft process, finally realizing I’m really working out to go to the NBA. That’s when I started to realize that this is the next step in my life.”

 

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George showed respect for the Jazz veterans and went on to say that he’s ready to learn from the guards up top.

“Great guards, great frontcourt,” George said. “(Lauri) Markkanen, (Walker) Kessler, they do their job. Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, Ochai (Agbaji). A lot of guys I can learn from.”

He went on to explain that he feels he can make an impact from day one.

“Whatever the team needs me to do,” George said. “I’m able to pass the ball very well, do film, and continue to learn. It will all come together very well.”

George has had some history with the other two Jazz first-round selections.

“I’m real familiar with Taylor (Hendricks) and Brice (Sensabaugh),” George said. “Me and Brice had a chance to work out at LA. It’s pretty cool to already have a connection with a guy coming in with me. (Brice) is a shooter. He’s a scorer man. Real tough. He’s going to do whatever it takes to win.”

About Baylor Guard Keyonte George

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.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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No. 16 Pick Keyonte George Has High Praise For Other Jazz First-Round Picks