2022 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: New Names Enter the Top 30

Paolo Banchero
Paolo Banchero / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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2022 NBA Mock Draft
Walker Kessler - Jacksonville State v Auburn / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

. . Auburn. 18. . Walker Kessler. player. 86

With the 18th overall pick in the Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select Auburn’s Walker Kessler. 

It looks as if the Timberwolves may make the playoffs for the first time since 2018 assuming they make it past the play-in tournament, but the draft could still be useful for them. I think they need to take to the draft to find some good, cheap role players if any are available, and in this case, Kessler practically falls into their lap. He emerged as college basketball’s best rim protector (and statistically one of the best shot blockers in NCAA history) and was a key piece of a very good Auburn Tigers team next to Jabari Smith. 

Karl-Anthony Towns could really use a good-quality backup for when he’s on the bench that could perhaps even play a few minutes with him on the floor. Despite some concerns arising around his athleticism, Kessler is a player that can rack up blocks and rebounds on defense, can potentially stretch the floor a bit on offense, and can rim run in transition. 

While this wouldn’t be the flashiest pick by Minnesota, it would certainly be a smart one, and considering Kessler has been mocked as high as the late lottery, he would come at a good value at 18th overall. While I still think this would be the best pick for the Timberwolves here being that he’s still on the board, I think the Timberwolves will also consider Minnesota-native Kendall Brown at this spot.