Will Walker Kessler be the next Utah Jazz player to make his first All-Star team?
The first game of the preseason went well for the Utah Jazz. The team was deep, they showcased a lot of potential and a lot of young players may have earned some minutes after their performances. One of those young players who really looked fantastic was Walker Kessler. Kessler, in his first preseason game, looked elite.
In just under 24 minutes, Kessler had seven points, seven rebounds, and five, yes five, blocks. That’s not a good stat line for the young center, that’s a stellar stat line. Five blocks? Against a team that includes Kawhi Leonard and Paul George? That’s nothing to shake a stick at.
But is he the next in line to earn an All-Star team nod? It’s certainly possible. It’s not hard to imagine that Kessler could have pulled in an easy double-double if he had played 30+ minutes, and when you tack on the fact that he posted five blocks, an absurd stat, it’s easy to see him getting some real hype with the All-Star voting.
Kessler could have finished with six, maybe even seven blocks had he played starter minutes. And if that’s a common outing for him, wow. That would be wild. It’s unlikely, not impossible but unlikely, that he’d average five or more blocks per game for a season. But could he hit that number a dozen times in an 82-game season? Yes.
That’s not to say that others can’t make the All-Star team this year. John Collins looks like he could easily be the next Markkanen in that sense. He could make a huge impact on the Jazz going forward, and should he develop and produce as he’s expected to, it’s going to be hard arguing against him making the All-Star team this year.
Kessler certainly has the hype around him, right now, but he has to be more consistent offensively if he wants to make the All-Star team this year. Collins is more likely to be the next guy up, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a lock. Collins and Kessler seem like the next one’s up but only time will tell.