Where would the Utah Jazz’s Walker Kessler rank against other NBA centers?

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz have a great center in Walker Kessler, but where does he rank among NBA Centers?

Walker Kessler had a big season for a rookie when he took over the center spot for the Utah Jazz in 2022-2023. He was the replacement for Rudy Gobert, who Kessler was directly traded for by the Jazz. The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Kessler, but when they traded for Gobert, Kessler was included in the deal.

While the Timberwolves may have overvalued Gobert, the deal wasn’t terrible for them, as Gobert was still a good defensive player for them. It’s just he doesn’t fit on the court with Karl-Anthony Towns. They’re both true centers, and the idea was that each other would help carry one another. Towns couldn’t play defense, Gobert was limited offensively, they would help carry one another. It didn’t happen, and they struggled.

Their collective struggles and the immediate impact Kessler made had everyone calling the trade bad. And while it wasn’t great for the T-Wolves, was Kessler’s impact so monumental that Minnesota should’ve kept him?

Well, Hoops Hype did a great job ranking the centers in the NBA heading in the 2023-2024 season, and as you can see, Kessler didn’t make the list.

"Nikola JokicJoel EmbiidAnthony DavisBam AdebayoKarl-Anthony TownsDomantas SabonisKristaps PorzingisBrook LopezMyles TurnerRudy Gobert"

Honorable Mention

"Deandre AytonNikoa VucevicJarrett Allen"

And honestly, it makes sense to not include him.  Kessler, defensively, is already great. Top 14 in the league. Offensively, he’s limited. A great rim runner, and can put back anything, but he’s not someone who can gather the confidence to shoot from three.

In time, he’ll hopefully become more dynamic on offense, but he only started 40 games, so it’s not like he has a huge body of work to show off yet. As he gets more reps, more touches, and more minutes, Kessler may prove everyone wrong and have people rethinking how they view him, but right now, it’d be easy to say he’s arguably the 14th or 14th best center. in the NBA.

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