Walker Kessler Named To All-Rookie First Team

May 8, 2023, 12:02 PM | Updated: May 31, 2023, 2:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler has been named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team.

Kessler earned the honors after a stellar first season with the Jazz that saw him average 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks which led all rookies.

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 Joins Strong All-Rookie Team

Kessler was joined by Rookie of the Year Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero, runner-up Jalen Williams from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers guard Benedict Mathurin, and Sacramento Kings wing Keegan Murray.

After being selected with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft, Kessler was shipped to the Minnesota Timberwolves before being redirected to the Jazz in the Rudy Gobert blockbuster.

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.

Kessler Is 11th Jazzman To Earn All-Rookie Honors

With the selection, Kessler is the first player to earn All-Rookie honors since Donovan Mitchell made the All-Rookie First Team in 2018.

Prior to Kessler and Mitchell’s First Team honors, nine former Jazz players had earned All-Rookie n0ds.

Guard Trey Burke was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 2014, Derrick Favors earned Second Team honors in 2011, Paul Millsap was a Second Team member in 2007, Deron Williams earned First Team honors in 2006, while Andrei Kirilenko was selected to the First Team in 2002.

In 1990, Blue Edwards was a Second Team member, Karl Malone was a First Team member in 1986, Thurl Bailey earned First Team honors in 1984, while Darrell Griffith was the first Jazzman to earn All-Rookie honors on the 1981 First Team.

Griffith remains the only Jazz player to earn the NBA Rookie of the Year.

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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 on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Walker Kessler Named To All-Rookie First Team