Ranking Jazz's young talents from least to most likely to build around

The Jazz should build around these young talents.
Utah Jazz, Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George
Utah Jazz, Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George / Harry How/GettyImages
4 of 5

2. Walker Kessler

Kessler felt locked in as Utah’s center of the present and future after his rookie season. He excelled as a rim-protector and had everybody thinking the Jazz fleeced the Timberwolves in the Rudy Gobert trade. Kessler was third in Rookie of the Year voting and had fans dreaming about his potential. Over his final 34 games as a starter, the seven-footer averaged 11.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks in 28.1 minutes per game.

Sadly, there was a speed bump in year two. Kessler began the year as a starter but was moved to the bench in late November. The struggles continued. He was still blocking shots and rebounding, but his impact was not the same. Kessler had to navigate the addition of John Collins in the frontcourt, but fans expected significantly more.

It was not a disastrous season. The 22-year-old still averaged 8.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in 23.3 minutes per game. He failed to showcase improvement as a screener, playmaker, or shooter. Criticism flew everywhere as the youngster should have upgraded his game somewhere.

Is Walker Kessler a 23-minute per-game reserve big man for the rest of his career or does he become the next Rudy Gobert? The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle. The Utah Jazz certainly need to see growth in the 2024-25 season for Kessler to remain a building block. If not, his career trajectory changes significantly.