2022 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Surprises Sneak Into Top 10

2022 NBA Mock Draft - Jabari Smith
2022 NBA Mock Draft - Jabari Smith / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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2022 NBA Mock Draft
Walker Kessler - Auburn v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

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

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

The Timberwolves are in an interesting spot—it appears as if they’re finally going to make a playoff push this season, but there’s a slim chance they’re going to make it very far. 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.

Kessler has emerged as college basketball’s best rim protector (and statistically one of the best shot blockers in NCAA history) and has been 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 great value.