Walker Kessler’s offseason development could be an X-Factor for the Jazz

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz pressed the reset button last offseason with a variety of moves, including shipping Rudy Gobert off to Minnesota. Following the trade of the defensive star, it was clear Utah would be lacking a defensive presence in the paint.

Fortunately for Utah, the Jazz found a gem in former first-round pick Walker Kessler.

Walker Kessler’s development could be an X-Factor for the Jazz

Walker Kessler finished his rookie campaign averaging 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and just under one assist per game, shooting 72.0% from the floor through 74 games. Aside from the seven-footer’s impressive offensive game, Kessler proved to be the organization’s new defensive anchor, averaging 2.3 blocks per game. A seemingly perfect fit next to Utah’s new star Lauri Markkanen, allowing the Gonzaga product to expand his game, which ultimately is a big reason for Markkanen’s career year.

Now, with a year as a pro under his belt and a full offseason ahead of him, Kessler has the chance to develop his game even further and take a leap as the two-way big man the Jazz can lean on.

Based on Kessler’s social media, the Auburn alum wasted no time getting to work this offseason.


If he can find a consistent jump shot this offseason and build on his offensive arsenal, as Jazz CEO Danny Ainge suggested he should do this summer, Kessler could elevate the team as a whole. Giving Will Hardy more ammo on the offensive end will open up the Jazz’s already exciting offense and give the team the ability to truly spread the floor 1-5.

After Kessler was named to the All-Rookie First Team, it’s evident that the sky’s the limit for the 21-year-old. If he can continue to progress, the Jazz could have one of the best young frontcourts in the league for years to come.

Next. Jazz are in position to strike for a big name next offseason. dark