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What is Walker Kessler's upside?


JazzFever

Well-Known Member
1.7 BPG in 14.9 MPG is elite. That is 4.1 BPG per 36 mins.
Yeah, if teams keep attacking him, he'll probably stay in the top 2 or 3 in the league in BPM and BPG if he plays enough.

We currently have an embarrassment of riches at center, which is where most of us assumed we'd be the weakest after trading Rudy.
 


Udidthizz

Well-Known Member
To be fair to Kessler we haven't really asked him to do anything more than put-backs or dunks. We don't pass him the ball with his back to the basket at all, so we really don't know what he could do with it. That might be because he simply cannot do anything with it and the team knows that, or by design as it isn't his primary function when he is on the floor.

There is a little more in this than just put-backs, although put-backs and dunks are still 80% of his highlights, but he has a few nice jumpers and some nice shots from 5-8 feet in, including a couple of lefty hooks, and some reasonably nice 3 pt shots in there. I wish we would let him get the ball down low back to the basket so we can see exactly what he could do with it, even if he fails miserably. He needs the touches and chances to develop some confidence.


That 3 point shot is a bit slow and not very pretty, but not terrible at all.
 

HermanG

Well-Known Member
Tbf I dont think we will ask Kessler to shoot. Our 5 out system runs well with 2 bigs (Lauri and Kelly) or even 3 bigs (add Vando). I don't think Kessler will replace either KO or Vando in that 5 out, so its better if he complements the team as a true center coming in at situations where we need a stronger rim presence. He did that vs the Hawks, and was instrumental in that win. We are more flexible with Vando and KO, since then we can also run Lauri at 5.
 

LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
That 3 point shot is a bit slow and not very pretty, but not terrible at all.
If he takes say 3 a game and hits 1 that is enough to keep defenses honest really. Nothing to see as a huge weapon, but hey you never know, other big men have developed shots working with far less in terms of shooting development. Could lead to more of a Marc Gasol type player. He will likely never have that level of offensive skill, but add a few wrinkles like that to his game and it could be big.
 

Swuul

Member
Regarding the scouting reports on Walker Kessler and his athleticism, from last June:

- Kyle Tucker at The Athletic called him "Fast and agile athlete who can play small-ball like he is 6-7".

- NBA Draft Junkies said: "Mobile and agile; moves well for a 7 footer".

- The Box and One said: "At a towering 7’1”, Kessler is much more mobile than many bird-legged or thick-bodied bigs. He shows flashes of switchability onto the perimeter, good ground coverage from the weak side and a comfort level that very few his size have away from the hoop. "




I have obviously only seen him on TV, but to me he seems to be fast (he is often battling for defensive rebounds, and after Jazz gets a fast break he is the first one under the opponent basket ) and agile (his ability to make 180 degree pirouettes would make figure-skaters envious). As such, I fail to see how anybody could call him a weak athlete.

His weaknesses are in ball-handling and shooting 3p and FT. Things he surely will be working on during the coming off-seasons.
 

sip

Well-Known Member
I’m not going overboard at all. He runs the floor better than anyone on the roster. His lateral movement is elite for someone his size

He’s very very athletic.
Stop it. He doesn't run the floor better than everyone on the roster. He is a solid athlete and that will allowing him to become a very good player in my opinion.
 

Eddie Zero

Well-Known Member
Walker is super athletic. I’m curious what makes you think he lacks athleticism
lol no he is not. He is fluid, and efficient. Clearly has decent quick twitch "basketball" reaction athleticim, which is nice for a 7"er. This of course is great in the hopes his perimeter defense can become acceptable because it is not acceptable enough yet by any stretch. His interior game is why he was drafted in the first round to be a traditional starting 5 not a mobile athletic one.
That being said I can't see why anyone would claim "super athletic" Maybe you are confusing him with Agbaji who in fact is.
 

LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
lol no he is not. He is fluid, and efficient. Clearly has decent quick twitch "basketball" reaction athleticim, which is nice for a 7"er. This of course is great in the hopes his perimeter defense can become acceptable because it is not acceptable enough yet by any stretch. His interior game is why he was drafted in the first round to be a traditional starting 5 not a mobile athletic one.
That being said I can't see why anyone would claim "super athletic" Maybe you are confusing him with Agbaji who in fact is.
My 7"er is quick twitch as well.
 

KqWIN

Well-Known Member
Stop it. He doesn't run the floor better than everyone on the roster. He is a solid athlete and that will allowing him to become a very good player in my opinion.

I don't know why people have to force this idea that he's athletic. Maybe they think that's a dig against Kessler but it's not. You don't have to be athletic to be a good player and Kessler is an example of that. Suddenly Kessler can run the floor better than anyone on the roster? **** is comical. If Kessler is an elite athlete, Lauri Markkanen must be some kind of superhuman athlete. Jared Vanderbilt? That guy must be a martian or something lol.
 

KqWIN

Well-Known Member
So I think the future at center is to platoon a few different types of bigs unless you have an absolute all star. On a championship level team I think Kessler is the rim protector traditional big type for 20-25 minutes. You’d mix in a shooting 5 and maybe a guy that’s more switchable that can pose as a 5 and play with the other guys. I think KO, Kessler, Vando might be the center/big trio you will see on some contender… and then they load up on premium talent on the wing/perimeter.

I could see Walker getting 30+ minutes and being similar to Poeltl. Maybe better offensively and maybe slightly worse defensively. He’s been solid out the gate so maybe there is even more there.

I think this is about right. I do think people tend to watch a single series/game and extrapolate too much from it, so I try not to get crown one style of basketball as the superior form....but I do think his value will vary depending on the matchup.

The things I will be watching for in his development are his strength and ability to play in the Timelord spot. Hardy hasn't trusted him to guard the Jokic types, but methinks he needs some time to be a truly unmovable post defender like Gasol/Lopez etc. I think he will get there over time. OTOH, Hardy has used him a lot off the ball in lieu of him guarding the other teams center. I don't think he can be elite in that role, you need to have a special type of athlete like Giannis/Timelord/Draymond to the best. But a lot of it comes down to awareness (which has been great for a rookie) and how the team plays around. Hardy looks like the real deal and trend setter on defense. I think he will coach Kessler up to be the best he can be even.

As a pure drop C, I think he's pretty damn good already. Don't think he would look out of place as a starter for many teams.
 

Swuul

Member
I don't know why people have to force this idea that he's athletic.
Because that is what the scouting reports from before the draft told us, and that is what the eyes seem to be keep telling. I wouldn't dare to call him "super athletic", but he sure is fast and agile (especially for his size), that much seems to be clear -> if he had some ballhandling skills and could shoot 3p halfway decently, he would have been drafted in Top 10 instead of at 22 (where an athletic shot-blocker with limited ballhandling skills would be expected to be drafted).
 


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