Who should the Memphis Grizzlies take with the No. 29 overall pick in the Draft?
Walker Kessler, Auburn
Weight: 245 lbs
Sophomore big man Walker Kessler, who played at North Carolina and Auburn in his two seasons of college basketball, is one of the more intriguing prospects in this draft.
He measured as the tallest player at the NBA Draft Combine, coming in at 7’0.25″ without shoes. His height and timing allowed him to block 4.6 shots per game last year for the Tigers, propelling him to win the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
Having Kessler on the squad to step in when Jaren Jackson Jr. gets in foul trouble would be a great luxury to have. He could learn from Steven Adams and potentially serve as a starter one day.
He’s got to work on his three-point shot and his free throws, though. He took 50 3PT attempts in 34 games and made just 10 of them. He shot 53.7% from the free-throw line last season, too.
For the few shortcomings he has on offense, his defense will likely translate well to the NBA, which makes him worth taking a chance on in the late first round.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner describes Kessler as having shades of Jarrett Allen and Jakob Poeltl in his game.