Jazz Add Significant Shooting, Size In Draft

Jun 23, 2023, 1:31 AM | Updated: Jun 26, 2023, 1:09 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz added size and floor spacers in the 2023 NBA Draft after selecting Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George, and Brice Sensabaugh with three first-round picks.

The Jazz went into the night rumored to be looking to combine their picks to move up in the draft but wound up making all three selections.

Hendricks was picked ninth overall, George was selected 16th, while Sensabaugh sneaked in at the end of the first round at pick 28.

Hendricks Fills Needs For Jazz

Averages: 15.1 ppg | 7.0 RPG | 1.4 APG | 47 FG% | 39 3Pt % | 78 FT%

Though drafting the best player available rather than fit should always be a team’s mantra when selecting in the top 10, Taylor Hendricks happens to check both boxes for the Jazz.

Hendricks projects as a four in the modern NBA, filling the gap in the frontcourt between Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler on both ends of the floor.

RELATED: Utah Jazz Lottery Pick Taylor Hendricks Says He Can’t Wait To Interact With Jazz Fans

At 6-foot-9, Hendricks’ stellar 39 percent three-point shooting will space the floor for both Markkanen and Kessler, and his timing and athleticism as a cutter will allow him to score off the ball in Will Hardy’s offense.

On the other side of the floor, Hendricks may be the Jazz’s most versatile defender since Andrei Kirilenko using his length to defend all five positions on the floor depending on matchups.

Hendricks is an impressive weakside shot blocker that will form an intimidating duo with Kessler, while his agility on the perimeter will ease the burden defensively on Markkanen.

At just 19 years old Hendricks needs to add weight to his frame, his finishing numbers on non-dunks around the rim must improve, and he isn’t a proven shot-creator.

However, the Jazz don’t need Hendricks to be a number one scoring option, they need him to make life easier for both Markkanen and Kessler, and he should be able to do that early in his career.

George Brings Pro-Style Game To Jazz

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

When watching Keyonte George, it’s not difficult to see that he’s modeled his game after some of the top guards in the modern NBA game.

The Baylor guard has a deep bag of tricks with the ball in his hands using his tight ball-handling and nimble feet to create shots for himself in isolation.

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

There are visible shades of both Jamal Murray and Devin Booker in George’s game, including his willingness to use his imposing frame to bully defenders.

Though his shooting percentages were cause for concern as a freshman, George knocked down 47 percent of his unguarded catch-and-shoot jump shots, and his nearly 80 percent free-throw success rate highlighting his potential to make shots at a higher rate.

Defensively, George has the physical tools to be an impactful player, but like the aforementioned Murray and Booker, it will have to improve throughout his career.

Due to his isolation scoring potential, excellent size, and athleticism, George has true star potential, but his development as a playmaker and shooting efficiency will determine just how successful he can be in the NBA.

Sensabaugh Offers Jazz Elite Shooting

Averages: 16.3 ppg | 5.4 RPG | 1.2 APG | 48 FG% | 40 3Pt % | 83 FT%

While he’s often labeled as a pure scorer rather than as a shooter, Brice Sensabaugh had some of the most efficient shooting numbers in all of college basketball.

The big wing shot an eye-catching 40 percent on his 4.5 three-point attempts per game as a freshman matching Gradey Dick as one of the more prolific sharpshooters from this freshman class.

RELATED: Jazz First-Round Pick Brice Sensabaugh Looking Forward To NBA Transition

Beyond his three-point shooting, Sensabaugh is an extremely crafty scorer with the ball in his hands using his large 6-foot-6 frame to bully defenders inside the arc where he has excellent touch everywhere on the floor.

His midrange was a major tool in college, and though it may not factor into his NBA shot profile, it ups his potential as a late-clock scorer.

Sensabaugh mostly plays below the rim, and his average athleticism didn’t translate well on the defensive in college, an area he will have to improve if he wants to stick in the NBA.

He wasn’t much of a playmaker in college, but the poor talent around him often meant whichever shot he could create for himself was Ohio State’s best option which may have hidden his skills as a passer.

Due to the lack of polish in his game outside of his scoring, it may be difficult to find a significant role for Sensabaugh as a rookie, but he possesses the most sought-after skill in the NBA, and that gives him a chance to stick in the league.

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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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Jazz Add Significant Shooting, Size In Draft