Walker Kessler, the 2022 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, blocked nearly five shots per game for the Tigers in 2021-22. A serviceable contributor while at UNC, the former five-star recruit reached new heights in his lone year at Auburn.
UPDATE: In an unrelated move, Kessler was traded to the Utah Jazz along with four first round picks between 2023 and 2029, Patrick Beverly, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley on July 1, 2022.
What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Carries an NBA frame. Moves his feet well on the perimeter when playing defense and can also serve as a rim protector (Florida ‘19). Has a lethal second jump that make up for his lack of ideal height. Provides some lineup flexibility. Can defend both of the forward positions. Shot 32-percent from the three- point line in limited attempts. Excellent free throw shooter. Drives to the hoop with both hands.
Weaknesses: Williams didn’t start a game for FSU this past season and averaged just 22 minutes a game. The Seminoles were talent-laden and didn’t ask for Williams to ever be a focal point in the offense. What will be his offensive niche at the next level? This is a player who scouts will have to make a projection on in the future rather than rely on game film.
Attended West Charlotte High School (NC) and played in the Jordan Brand Classic Game in 2019
Named the 2019-20 ACC Sixth Man of the Year and earned ACC All-Freshman honors
The third one-and-done in the school’s history: Malik Beasley and Jonathan Isaac were the others
Both parents, Janie and Eddie, played basketball at Johnson C. Smith University
Williams plays with a nastiness and a competitive spirit that allows him to overcome his match ups with taller players. In an ideal world, the freshman forward would have played more minutes than he did as a Seminole. Williams’ willingness to crash the glass and his above average shooting mechanics should serve him well early in his career as he carves out a role in an NBA rotation.