Milwaukee Bucks 2022 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Walker Kessler

Mar 11, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Auburn Tigers: Walker Kessler, Jackson State Tigers: Darius Hicks
Mar 18, 2022; Greenville, SC, USA: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Milwaukee Bucks holding the 24th pick in the 2022 NBA draft, one thing they might be looking to do is add another big man. Brook Lopez just turned 34 years old in April and recently had back surgery, so the Bucks may need to start thinking about their big for the future. Walker Kessler out of Auburn is someone who they might be interested in turning into the “next Brook Lopez.” Here is an analysis of his strengths and weaknesses and whether or not I believe he can fill that role.

(All stats provided by Synergy require a subscription)

Walker Kessler

  • Position: Center
  • College: Auburn
  • Height: 7’1″
  • Height: 250 lbs
  • Stats: 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.6 blocks
    • 61 percent from the field, 20 percent from three, 60 percent from the line

Milwaukee Bucks NBA Draft Scouting Report: Walker Kessler – Strengths

Rim Protection

Walker Kessler is the best rim protector in the entire draft, and one of the best prospects as a shot-blocker the league has seen in recent memory. With a 7’5″ wingspan along with great body control and leaping ability, Kessler is able to deter shots at the rim and he defends without fouling. He averages an incredible 4.6 blocks per game and 10 blocks per 100 possessions, and his block rate this past season was the highest for any college basketball player in the past 14 seasons. As a result, he was named the 2022 Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year in college basketball. He should be an elite rim protector at the next level.


Kessler is an excellent rebounder with his size and length, grabbing 8.1 rebounds per game last season at Auburn and 12.6 rebounds per 40 minutes. He boxes out well, competes hard on the glass, and uses his length to grab a ton of boards. He also is great at locating and making outlet passes once he grabs a rebound.


With his leaping ability and size, Kessler is able to clean up around the rim nicely on offense. He converted 73 percent of his shots at the rim this past season, which ranked in the 97th percentile, per Synergy. He is particularly good finishing as a roll man in the pick-and-roll, where he made an incredible 94 percent of his shots rolling to the basket, ranking in the 99th percentile. Kessler is a power finisher who converts down low with a lot of dunks or lobs, and he should be very good as a roller in the NBA.