Jazz seeking at least a first-rounder for Walker Kessler, a Knicks trade target, teams contacting Utah say

NBA teams in touch with the Jazz about Walker Kessler, a Knicks trade target, say that Utah is seeking at least a first-round draft pick. SNY’s Ian Begley reported on the latest with the development Monday.

“The Knicks had been in touch with Utah, had had some interest in Walker Kessler, the big man, as a potential solution for, at the backup five,” Begley said. “But teams in touch with Utah say the Jazz are looking for at least a first-round pick in return for Kessler in these conversations that have gone on earlier in the offseason.”

Kessler — 23 on July 26 — averaged 8.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 23.3 minutes over 64 games (22 starts) as a second-year pro during the 2023-24 season. As a rookie with the Jazz for 2022-23, Kessler averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 23.0 minutes across 74 games (40 starts).

Elsewhere in the Knicks’ pursuit to replace the departing Isaiah Hartenstein and add a backup behind the returning Mitchell Robinson, Precious Achiuwa remains worth monitoring.

“They have been in touch with Precious Achiuwa,” Begley said of the 24-year-old big man, who averaged 7.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 24.2 minutes over 49 games (18 starts) with the Knicks this past season. “Achiuwa has drawn interest from several contenders. I believe he has a couple offers on the table there. Now let’s see where Achiuwa goes in the next few days.”

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