Walker Kessler Is a Surprising Rookie in Utah

Walker Kessler, a young rookie who has been crawling his way up the ranks in the rookie of the year debate.  The 7’0 from Auburn has been a monster on the boards having multiple big rebounding games with his highest of 21 against the Timberwolves.  A key role player in the Jazz’s great early start and his campaign for rookie of the year. 

What makes Walker Kessler so great in his role is not only his great rebounding, but his efficiency on the court.  Walker is shooting 71% from the field this season.  Not much contribution to the scoring end so it’s not the hardest, but Walker makes up for it on the defensive end.  Standing currently at fourth in blocks per game with 2.1.

Recording a game high 7 earlier in the season. Walker Kessler is also tied for most double doubles by any rookie with 11.  With the size advantage he has on most players in the league, he should be sure to be getting more shot attempts and overall more looks on offense. 

Walker at 7’0 is one of the best rim runners at the center position.  The way he gets back into the play after making big defensive plays shows his speed at that size.  Walker has also shown quick feet getting downhill on pick and rolls, creating open dunks.  Walker still isn’t the biggest scoring threat on the court so he gets left open on drives creating openings for the lob or drop down passes from the guards.  Walker uses his griddy knack for knowing where the ball will go timing great putbacks off misses.  Kessler’s strength creates double teams in the paint freeing up shooters as well, with Jazz having shooting threats all over it shows why they are one of the top leaders in points per game. 

Walker Kessler plays alongside first time all star Lauri Markkanen, so he won’t get the shine for his play.  As a modern bigman, not shooting the ball can make you a liability on the court, but the way Walker plays his role shows being a star in your role isn’t dead.  Walker can fit on any team with his play style and as he only gets better and gains more experience he will become a premiere big man.  

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