Knaus: Kessler will be a shot-blocking force

Ryan Knaus discusses Jazz center Walker Kessler's incredible shot-blocking ability and explains why the rookie needs to be rostered.

Video Transcript

- Utah Jazz rookie Center Walker Kessler has fantasy value that's tethered almost entirely to one category, shot blocker. Yes, he'll have excellent field goal percentage on low volume attempts and he should be a solid source of rebounds, especially on a team full of chuckers, like Malik Beasley, Jordan Clarkson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Talen Horton-Tucker. None of those guys shot better than 41% from the field last season.

But getting back to Kessler's core strength, this guy is going to block shots in abundance. According to, since the 2009-2010 season, Kessler's 19.1% block rate from last year is the highest on record. Hassan Whiteside and Jamarion Sharpe are the only others to have hit at least 18%.

The Jazz do have a couple options at center having brought in veteran Kelly Olynyk as well as Jared Vanderbilt, who is expected to get minutes at the 5. Udoka Azubuike may bully his way into the rotation but Kessler doesn't need to win the starting job to be a shot blocking force. His average draft position has slowly crept up throughout the preseason settling in around 130 to 140 in Yahoo League. If you see him there and you need a big man or especially blocks, don't hesitate to grab him.