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George, Juzang Carry Jazz Over Timberwolves In Vegas

Jul 10, 2023, 10:40 PM

Keyonte George #3 of Utah Jazz controls the ball in Las Vegas Summer League...

Keyonte George #3 of Utah Jazz controls the ball in Las Vegas Summer League (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)

(Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz stayed undefeated in Las Vegas downing the Minnesota Timberwolves behind another dominant performance from Keyonte George.

The Jazz were without second-year guard Ochai Agbaji, but got big performances from Juzang and Micah Potter to make up for his absence.

After missing Saturday’s Vegas debut with a knee injury, Luka Samanic returned for the Jazz scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

George Makes Gobert Trade Look More Lopsided

Timberwolves fans were already uneasy about last summer’s Rudy Gobert blockbuster trade after the breakout rookie season from Walker Kessler.

On Monday night, they saw more fallout from the deal in the form of Keyonte George.

George was selected with the first round draft pick that originally belonged to Minnesota before it was included in the massive trade package pieced together to land Gobert.

While Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Leandro Bolmaro (the other players acquired in the trade) are no longer on the Jazz roster, Kessler and George already look to be a promising return on the Jazz’s investment.

In the first meeting against his would-be team, George torched the Timberwolves for 26 points on an efficient 9-15 shooting, including 5-10 from the three-point line.

The guard also dished out seven assists and grabbed three rebounds in just under 30 minutes.

While it’s far too early to draw serious predictions about George’s future, the guard’s two performances in Vegas are worthy of praise.

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George is averaging 29.5 points, 8.5 assists, and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the floor and 44 percent from three in 32 minutes a night.

The Gobert trade was already trending in the Jazz’s favor due to Kessler’s early production, George may be the one who twists the knife.

Former Two-Way Players Rise To Occasion

After a few quiet outings from Johnny Juzang and Micah Potter during the Salt Lake City Summer League, last year’s two-way players have both played well so far in Las Vegas.

After Potter’s 18 points, nine rebound, four assist outing in game one against the Los Angeles Clippers, the former Ohio State big man added 11 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists on Monday night.

Juzang shot well against LA pouring in 13 points on 5-9 shooting on Saturday night before recording 26 points, four rebounds, and three assists on 10-14 shooting including 4-5 from downtown.

The Jazz renounced the rights to Juzang on Saturday morning, allowing him to sign with any other team across the league, but after showing off his improved shot-making in year-two, he might be worthy of another look.

Potter is also showing why he drew the Jazz’s interest last season, and could likely earn another two-way contract this season, even if he doesn’t stay in Utah.

Regardless, both Juzang and Potter have been good additions to the Jazz summer league roster, and have made strong cases to stick in the NBA next season.

When Do The Utah Jazz Play Their Next Summer League Game?

The Jazz will host the Denver Nuggets Wednesday at 7:30 pm MT in Las Vegas. The game will be televised on NBA TV.

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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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George, Juzang Carry Jazz Over Timberwolves In Vegas