San Antonio Spurs Draft

2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Pre-lottery look at every team's best option

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Walker Kessler, 2022 NBA Mock Draft
Walker Kessler - Miami v Auburn / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

player. 79. . . Auburn. Center. Walker Kessler. 26

Size is one of the biggest weak points on the Dallas Mavericks' roster since trading Porzingis at the deadline. The team relies on the efforts of undersized, energetic players to compete on the boards. It’s been successful in spurts, but if the team wants to compete for an NBA title yearly, it would benefit from a true center who can match up on the interior.

Auburn center Walker Kessler is a phenomenal shot blocker because of his high motor and keen timing. That, paired with a 7-foot-5 wingspan, allows him to lockdown challengers and swat attempts in the paint. While shot-blocking is the trait that stands out most, Kessler is decently agile for his size, which enables him to compete in drop coverage.

Kessler's touch inside is impressive as he drops in layups, hooks, and the occasional floating shot. It helps that he boasts solid hands and generally doesn’t hesitate to enter his motions as soon as the ball reaches his grasp. He isn’t the type of player you want to feed post touches without a serious mismatch, but Dallas doesn’t prioritize post-ups anyway.

Kessler is a strong screen-setter who’s capable of operating dribble-handoffs at the next level once chemistry and confidence are established. He’s not going to be some kind of world-beater, but Kessler has a shot to fill a vital role for many years to come.