Utah Jazz’s Keyonte George likely done with summer league after ankle injury

After stepping on a defender’s foot and rolling his right ankle, the rookie guard is bound to sit out the team’s remaining two games in Las Vegas.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz guard Keyonte George (3) drive the ball past Philadelphia 76ers guard Jaden Springer (11) during an NBA Summer League basketball game Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City.

After two games of lighting up the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, Utah Jazz rookie Keyonte George is unlikely to play in the team’s remaining games after suffering an ankle injury Wednesday night.

The No. 16 overall draft pick had put on a show in the team’s two games, wins against the Clippers and Timberwolves respectively. But just before halftime against the Nuggets, he stepped on the foot of defender Julian Strawther while driving to the hoop, and rolled his right ankle.

George immediately went down to the Cox Pavilion court and grabbed at his ankle. After initially trying to get up on his own, he ultimately needed the assistance of teammates and trainers to get off the court. At halftime, he was able to walk to the Jazz’s locker room under his own power, but was clearly hobbled.

The Jazz ruled him out for the remainder of that game.

Though the team had not yet provided an injury update as of Thursday afternoon, the apparent ankle sprain is likely to keep him out of the Jazz’s other summer league games — a Friday matchup vs. the Suns, and a fifth game TBD based on their place in the summer league standings through the first four games.

Beyond the simple matter of the unlikeliness of his readiness to play by Friday, the team has already shown itself to be quite cautious in handling summertime injuries, with fellow rookies Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh having been held out of all Salt Lake City and Las Vegas summer league games to this point.

The injury was an especially disappointing development considering the 6-foot-4 George had electrified Jazz fans, teammates, and Vegas attendees alike in his first two games, notching 33 points and 10 assists in his debut, then following up with 26 points and seven assists in the subsequent matchup.

On Wednesday, he had registered six points, three rebounds, two assists, and a steal before the injury.

George also had a right ankle sprain while at Baylor that caused him to miss some time, and hampered him when he did return.