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Nickeil Alexander-Walker 2019 NBA Draft Profile

The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. Virginia Tech guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker improved his game over two seasons as a Hokie to be one of the top prospects in the class.

Background

Position: Guard

Class: Sophomore

2018-2019 stats: 16.2 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, 4.0 assists per game, 1.9 steals per game, 0.5 blocks per game, 47.4% field goal, 37.4% 3 point

Size: 6-foot-5, 205 pounds

In the 2017 recruitment class, Alexander-Walker was the 37th ranked player, which was 17 spots behind his cousin, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who just had a solid rookie season with the Los Angeles Clippers. Now Alexander-Walker will follow in his cousin’s footsteps and start his NBA career.

As a freshman, he averaged 10.7 points per game and had a successful start to his college career. The Hokies made the NCAA tournament, but lost in the first round. Alexander-Walker decided to go back to college for one more season and blossomed. He averaged 16.2 points and was an All-ACC player. His play helped Virginia Tech reach the Sweet Sixteen of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, where they lost to the Duke Blue Devils.

Alexander-Walker demonstrated great improvement in most areas of his game from year one to year two of college. These improvements have paid off for him, as now he is projected to be selected at some point in the middle of the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft.

Strengths

Alexander-Walker is a good shooter from all ranges. He can hit shots in the mid-range and from deep, as he shot over 37 percent last season. His shooting ability can be accessed from a pull-up jumper or off of a pass from a teammate if he is open. Part of the reason he is such an efficient shooter is that he takes very few bad shots.

There aren’t many great point guards in this class, and Alexander-Walker is more of a combo guard, but he can run the pick and roll very well. The pick and roll is being used more and more in the NBA and Alexander-Walker has the ability to pass, get to the basket or pull up with a jumper to make defenses pay. His solid all-around offensive game can be seen when he runs the pick and roll because of his ability to beat a defense in multiple ways.

He can also force turnovers, making him valuable on the defensive end. He is tall and long for a guard with a 6-foot-9 wingspan. He uses his length well on the defensive end, as he averaged 1.9 steals per game last season for the Hokies. With good instincts and length, Alexander-Walker projects to be a solid defender at the NBA level as well.

Weaknesses

While he has the size and polished skill set for the NBA, Alexander-Walker isn’t a top-level athlete. He won’t wow anyone with his amazing dunks or his ability to block shots. Most of his great attributes are because of basketball skill and not athleticism. If he goes up against top-level NBA athletes he could be beaten or fail to score if he has the ball in his hands.

His shot selection is good, but Alexander-Walker should try to focus on getting to the basket more. He is effective shooting and driving as is, but he could really put pressure on defenses if he would take the ball into the thick of the defense more offense to draw fouls or set up teammates for open shots.

Alexander-Walker will need to add strength, like many other prospects entering the NBA. He is slender at 205 pounds and could be pushed around by bigger players. The added strength will also help him get to the basket more on the offensive end.

Projected Draft Range: Mid-First Round Pick

 

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