13 - Walker Kessler

7-1, 255 Center
Auburn Sophomore
07/26/01 (22.3 yrs)
Newnan, GA
High School
Woodward Academy
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Myles Turner/Cole Aldrich

Strengths: Has excellent size for the position at 7’1”, 245 pounds. He is an elite level shot blocker and shot disruptor inside, routinely blocking 4 or more shots in a game (currently averaging 4.7 per game) … Has nimble feet for a footer … Moves well, is not a statue in the paint, and has shown an ability to step out and defend in pick and roll situations while still being able to recover to his man … Despite being very aggressive looking to block shots, doesn’t pick up a lot of fouls, and does a good job of using verticality instead of swiping at the ball … Deters inside shots just by his mere presence in the paint … Does a good job of making contact with his man when shots go up before going to track down the rebound … Rebounds with two hands routinely … Good at finishing around the rim with dunks and excels at putting himself in position to be a threat in the lob game … Does a very good job in the pick and roll game offensively …

Weaknesses: Can get his center of gravity a little too high when switched onto perimeter players, allowing them to get by him more easily … Isn’t much of a jump shooter from outside, making only 21.4% of his threes on 1.5 attempts per game thus far this season … Doesn’t secure the ball very well when posting up offensively, is prone to having it knocked away, resulting in turnovers … Can sometimes try to do too much on the offensive end instead of playing to his strengths … Is a liability anytime he dribbles the basketball … Has the ball knocked out of his hands more than he probably should for a player as strong as he is … Needs to improve his ability to pass out of the post and find open teammates … Is not a good free throw shooter, could improve on his career 61.4% free throw percentage … Despite  his ability to be a rim protector and shot blocker, his ability to switch on defensive assignments and stay in front of opponents when he guards the perimeter will be a challenge for him as a big and less mobile center …

Outlook: Kessler is an elite level shot blocker who should be able to translate that skill well to the next level because of his ability to play physically without fouling while still maintaining the space needed to go up and actually block the shot … He’s a good but not great rebounder who will need to take better care of the ball as he plays against stronger players down low … It’s clear he wants to expand his offensive game, but his shot doesn’t look ideal mechanically, so he will likely get most of his offense from offensive rebounds, the pick and roll game, and from having teammates create shots for him … However, despite his offensive short comings, his high level defense will give him a chance to be a contributor at the next level and carve out minutes as a shot blocker that can step out on the perimeter and defend the pick and roll action … If he is able to develop his offensive skills, he could become a steal of this draft, but even if he doesn’t, his defensive ability could be enough to sneak him into the back end of the lottery …

Eric Yearian 2/26/22

Notes: Measured: 7’0.25” barefoot, 7’1.0” in shoes, 9’5.0” standing reach, 256.0 lbs, 7’4.25” wingspan at the 2022 NBA Draft Combine …

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