3. Walker Kessler
Drafting a one-trick pony in Round 1 is a dangerous game for NBA GMs to play. Kessler projects to be an elite shot-blocker at the next level but his lack of another obvious professional skill should give teams a lot of pause before spending a high draft pick on the former Auburn star.
Kessler can’t contribute to a team that wants to switch on the perimeter which is a big strike against him. He can be a great rim protector in a drop coverage scheme but it’s hard for title contenders to employ that sort of defensive scheme effectively.
Any team that drafts him will be hoping that either his post-game or perimeter shooting ability takes off once he really gets into a professional development system. The fact that he’s shown almost no signs of developing either skillset as a collegian stacks the odds against that kind of improvement as a pro.
Kessler isn’t mocked in the Lottery by many experts at this point in the process which is good news for teams making picks in that range. He is, however, a consensus first-rounder. That’s too high for a center who only has one elite skill that can only be leveraged in an archaic defensive scheme.