UTAH JAZZ

ESPN Names Walker Kessler To Top 25 Under 25 List

Nov 7, 2023, 3:28 PM

Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler (24) jumps to block a shot attempt by Phoenix Suns forward Torrey C...

Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler (24) jumps to block a shot attempt by Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig (0) during an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns (Credit: Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

(Credit: Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler was named to ESPN’s Top 25 NBA Players Under 25 list for the 2023 season.

The second-year big man made the list after earning All-Rookie honors last year as he quickly developed into the Jazz’s starting center of the future.

ESPN releases the Top 25 Under 25 list every year, though no Jazz player made the cut last season.

Walker Kessler Named To ESPN Top 25 Under 25

Kessler was one of only four centers to make the list. Ranked number 20 among all top 25 players, the Auburn product was ahead of Alperen Sengun (25th, Houston Rockets), and Jalen Duren (21st, Detroit Pistons), but behind rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama (3rd, San Antonio Spurs).

“When Kessler stepped into the starting lineup last season, he quickly established himself as one of the league’s better defensive centers,” Tim Bontemps of ESPN wrote. “The Jazz were a full 6.5 points worse per 100 possessions with Kessler on the bench as a rookie, and he is a perfect long-term building block next to Lauri Markkanen in Utah’s frontcourt.”

Kessler has gotten off to a slow start in his sophomore season averaging 8.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks, all lower than his rookie season numbers.

He’s also shooting just 55 percent from the floor after nearly leading the NBA last season at 72 percent.

“If he’s ever able to add a reliable 3-point shot, he could jump way up this list,” ESPN added. “Even if he doesn’t, Kessler is a worthy heir to Rudy Gobert as the anchor of Utah’s defense.”

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic topped the list, while Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards was ranked second.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

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.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz waive Los Angeles Clippers guard Russell Westbrook...

Chandler Holt

Utah Jazz Officially Waive Guard Russell Westbrook

The Utah Jazz officially waived Russell Westbrook on Saturday, clearing the way for the veteran guard to join his next team via free agency.

14 hours ago

Utah Jazz guard Isaiah Collier...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Fall To Clippers In Vegas Summer League

The Utah Jazz dropped to 2-2 at the Las Vegas Summer League after falling to the Los Angeles Clippers 105-88.

2 days ago

Russell Westbrook #0 of the LA Clippers reacts against the Utah Jazz...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Trade For Russell Westbrook, Again

For the second time, the Utah Jazz are acquiring Russell Westbrook, this time in a sign and trade for guard Kris Dunn.

3 days ago

Keyonte George NBA Summer League Salt Lake City Utah Jazz...

Chandler Holt

Are NBA Summer League Struggles A Cause For Concern?

The NBA offseason is driven by recency bias and high expectations, with Summer League players feeling that pressure the most.

3 days ago

Utah Jazz forward Taylor Hendricks...

Ben Anderson

Taylor Hendricks Thrives In Jazz Win Over Raptors

Taylor Hendricks had the best performance of his basketball career against the Toronto Raptors scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

4 days ago

Utah Jazz Houston Rockets Taylor Hendricks...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Are Jazz Good At Developing Players?

Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where every week our NBA insiders answer your questions on social media about your favorite team.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

ESPN Names Walker Kessler To Top 25 Under 25 List