Walker Kessler Finishes Third In Rookie Of The Year Vote

Apr 25, 2023, 5:14 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2023, 10:10 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Walker Kessler finished third in the 2022-23 NBA Rookie of the Year vote.

Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero, the top overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft won the award in commanding fashion taking home 98 of the possible 100 first-place votes, with Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Jalen Williams finishing second.

Kessler’s third-place finish is the highest by a Jazz rookie since Donovan Mitchell finished in second in 2018, losing to Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons.

Kessler Finishes Third In Rookie Of The Year Vote

Banchero had the most impressive statistical season of any rookie in the NBA averaging 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists despite shooting just 42 percent from the floor and 29 percent from the three-point line.

The Orlando Magic finished with a 34-48 record, the sixth-worst record in the NBA.

Williams averaged 14.1 points in his debut season with the Thunder adding 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists on 52 percent shooting from the floor and 35 percent from the three-point line.

The wing was the 12th pick in the draft by the Thunder and helped lead Oklahoma City to the 10th seed in the West, and a spot and the final spot in the Play-In tournament.

Kessler averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks which led all rookies, while the Jazz finished with the ninth-worst record in the NBA.

The Jazz rookie came up two field goal attempts short of qualifying as the league’s leader in field goal percentage at 72 percent.

Kessler became the first rookie since Tim Duncan to have four games with at least seven blocks, and is the first player ever to record a double-double while shooting 100 percent from the field in his NBA debut.

Banchero, Williams, and Kessler are all locks to be named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team which will be announced in May.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott onΒ 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter atΒ @BensHoopsΒ or on InstagramΒ @BensHoops.

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Walker Kessler Finishes Third In Rookie Of The Year Vote