Utah Jazz recently rejected significant trade offer for Walker Kessler

Walker Kessler
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Just two years after landing Walker Kessler as arguably the centerpiece in the Rudy Gobert trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Utah Jazz are already open to moving on from the 22-year-old center. Multiple reports have indicated that Kessler is available via trade, but how willing are the Jazz to part ways?

According to SNY’s New York Knicks insider Ian Begley, Tom Thibodeau’s team is indeed interested in trading for Kessler to fill their starting center vacancy. However, the Jazz have already rejected the Knicks’ attempt to trade for the 7-foot-tall rim protector.

“The Knicks have interest in trading for Utah Jazz big man Walker Kessler, but the cost could be steep. SNY’s Ian Begley reported on Tuesday that teams had offered two first-round picks to Utah in recent weeks and were rebuffed. Begley added that the value of the first-rounders offered was not known. Specifically, it was not clear if there were protections attached.”

Knicks insiders on trade attempt for Walker Kessler

As noted, we have no way of knowing just how valuable those future first-round picks are. Did the Knicks attach heavy protections to them, such as guarding against the possibility of the selection being a top-10 pick? If so, it’s easy to see how the Jazz wouldn’t have interest.

Kessler may not have taken a giant leap forward from his rookie season to his second year in the NBA, but he’s still viewed as a player with untapped potential. Even as is, Kessler has to be considered one of the best shot-blockers in basketball, as shown by his 2.4 blocks per game last season.

So, while the Jazz may seem open to trading their young center, they don’t appear desperate. Considering he still has plenty of room for growth, it’s understandable that they’d want to see if he can take a leap in his third season, which would only increase Kessler’s trade value.

Related: New York Knicks eyeing ‘big center move’ for young player with sky-high potential

Related: Rudy Gobert-Mikal Bridges trade comparison: Who overpaid?

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