Starting Utah Jazz point guard Keyonte George is steadily improving throughout the season. Keyonte just had the best game of his young career vs OKC when he scored 30 points on 59% shooting and had 7 assists. The latest indicator of the 16th pick’s improved play is his current rank among rookies by NBA.com. George is now ranked the best guard in the 2023 class.
https://t.co/wWGNmWnCY9’s updated rookie ladder:— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) December 13, 2023
1. Victor Wembanyama
2. Chet Holmgren
3. Brandon Miller
4. Jaime Jaquez Jr.
5. Keyonte George
6. Ausar Thompson
7. Dereck Lively II
8. Bilal Coulibaly
9. Brandin Podziemski
10. Toumani Camara
As Jazz fans, this should come as no surprise. George has been one of the few bright spots in this tumultuous first quarter of the season. His biggest weakness is his FG% but the eye test indicates he will have an FG% in the low 40% range by seasons end. What George does well is run the offense like a starting point guard. George knows how to hit players in their shooting pocket, lead cutters, and not dominate the ball which can stifle teammates offensive momentum. George has shown some ball handling weakness against elite defensive pressure but that should be expected by a rookie point guard in the greatest basketball league in the world. George has shown defensive tenacity which has been the biggest surprise of his play. The majority of scouting reports indicated that George’s defensive would be a liability but that has been far from the truth. Keyonte isn’t a great defender, but he is a good one who tries throughout the whole game. George’s shooting prowess has been exciting to watch develop. George can drill contested off the dribble 3’s and take it to the rack against elite shot blockers.
It shouldn't be that much of a surprise that Keyonte George's passing has popped— Jazz Lead (@JazzLead) November 11, 2023
Will Hardy runs a system that involves a lot of off-ball actions where players can get open
The Jazz have just needed a PG that can make the right reads and see when people get open pic.twitter.com/USgqho9KY8
Keyonte George had a great game tonight for the Jazz. He finished with 17 Points, 4 Assists, and a Steal. Keyonte was also efficient shooting 50% from the field and 50% from three on 6 attempts. pic.twitter.com/EEkPL4tDKG— KJ (@Kjpistons) October 15, 2023
*Looks up Keyonte George vs Chet Holmgren history pic.twitter.com/nWM9EEbaW3— Jazz Lead (@JazzLead) December 12, 2023
While Keyonte George doesn’t stand a chance at passing up number 1 and 2 in the Rookie of the Year race (the giants who play like guards have made getting 3rd in the ROY race as best-case scenario for other rookie contenders), could he finish the season as the 3rd best rookie?
Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Brandon Miller are rightfully ranked ahead of Keyonte George at the moment but if George continues to improve weekly like he has been, he easily could pass both of them. At this rate, George could end the year with a stat-line of 15 points and 7 assists a game. A stat-line like that should be enough to pass Miller and Jaquez Jr., unless they get significantly better throughout the year. Regardless of if George passes up Jaquez Jr. or Miller, George being the 5th best rookie when he was drafted 16th is still a success.