Being the first rookie in 25 years to register four games with at least seven blocks was just one of the accolades that landed Walker Kessler on the First Team All-Rookie squad. The Utah Jazz center led all rookies in blocks and his 2.3 per game average ranked fourth in the NBA despite playing just 23 minutes per contest. Kessler was Utah’s top-rated individual defensive player, and the 22nd overall pick also averaged 9.2 points and 8.4 rebounds on an eye-popping 72 percent shooting across 74 games. In his 40 starts, Kessler’s numbers jumped to 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game while being named Western Conference Rookie of the Month in February. He ultimately finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and became the 11th player in franchise history to earn First Team All-Rookie honors. The 7-footer logged 20 double-doubles, including a 20-point, 21-rebound effort on January 16 and added a season-high 31 points with 11 rebounds on March 25 to become the first Jazz rookie to ever post a 30-10 game. Kessler also became the third player in franchise history to block six shots and make a 3-pointer in the same game.
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