Walker Kessler Draft Scouting Report: Pro Comparison, Updated Timberwolves Roster

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 24, 2022

Auburn forward Walker Kessler (13) dribbles the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
AP Photo/Butch Dill

The Minnesota Timberwolves addressed their interior defense by selecting Auburn center Walker Kessler with the No. 22 overall pick of the 2022 NBA draft.

Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report

Player: Walker Kessler

Position: C

Height: 7'0"

Pro Comparison: Brook Lopez

Scouting Report: Walker just put together arguably the most productive shot-blocking season on record in terms of production per minute. He's a limited athlete and scorer, but signs of shooting confidence suggest he's capable of eventually adding a three-ball to complement his rim protection.

Walker Kessler, C: Rookie scale contract

Karl-Anthony Towns, C: $31.7M (2024)

D'Angelo Russell, PG: $29.3M (2023)

Malik Beasley, SG: $15M (2024)

Patrick Beverley, PG: $13M (2023)

Anthony Edwards, SG: $11.1M (2024)

Jarred Vanderbilt, PF: $4.4M (2024)

Leandro Bolmaro, SG: $3M (2025)

Jaden McDaniels, PF: $2.5M (2024)

Jordan McLaughlin, PG: $2.2M (2024)

Naz Reid, C: $1.5M (2023, Club Option)

Jaylen Nowell, SG: $1.2M (2023, Club Option)

Taurean Prince, PF: UFA

Jake Layman, SF: UFA

Josh Okogie, SF: RFA

Greg Monroe, C: UFA

Nathan Knight, PF: RFA

McKinley Wright IV, PG: RFA

Kessler made the most of his one season at Auburn after transferring in from North Carolina. He averaged 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.6 blocks in 34 games.

With the 7'0" big man hovering around the rim, the Tigers held opponents to 38.6 percent shooting, seventh-best in Division I.

Kessler was honored as a third-team All-American and the Naismith Defensive Payer of the Year. He also collected first-team and Defensive Player of the Year accolades in the SEC.

While Kessler doesn't fit the profile of the floor-stretching 5 coveted by NBA teams, rim protection will always have a place in the Association. The 20-year-old might have a long career ahead.