NICKEIL ALEXANDER-WALKER 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Report
COLLEGE: VIRGINIA TECH
WEIGHT: 205 POUNDS
POSITION: COMBO GUARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: LATE LOTTERY
- Crafty playmaker who can get to his preferred spots on the floor, breaking down defenses either as a scorer or facilitator.
- High basketball IQ; repeatedly shows a penchant for knowing how to make the right decisions within forcing things
- Very comfortable taking and making three-point attempts (38.4% through March)
- Height (6’5) and wingspan (6’9) will allow him to stay on the floor as part of bigger or smaller lineups
- Length and smarts enable him to be a plus-defender across multiple positions
- Overall athletic upside is a major question; doesn’t have the speed and explosion we’re used to seeing from premier college prospects
- Very thin frame, with questions as to how much weight he’ll hold; generously listed at 210lbs, but playing weight could be below 200lbs
- Defensive abilities are more “potential” than “proven;” it’s an area where effort can run hot and cold
- Shot only 56% on free throws in high school, leading to questions about his overall potential as a shooter
The Canadian-born Nickeil Alexander-Walker is the cousin of NBA rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and the two were teammates at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Tennessee. Ironically enough, when you see Alexander-Walker, you can’t help but notice shades of Gilgeous-Alexander.
At 6’5 with a 6’9 wingspan, Alexander-Walker is a lean, long-limbed combo guard who sees the game as a point guard, but can be used at either guard position. Where he and his cousin differ is that Alexander-Walker shows a greater set of polished offensive skills and savvy running an offense, but lacks Gilgeous-Alexander’s overall athleticism.
In today’s era of scouting NBA prospects, we’re used to seeing athletic phenoms are just scratching the surface of their enormous athletic potential, and projecting how they’ll develop as a basketball player. With Alexander-Walker it’s almost the opposite: you’re looking at a deceptively polished basketball player, and you’re wondering just how much athletic potential he has to truly maximize his basketball skills at the next level.
We are high on Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s potential. He reminds us of former first round pick, Dejounte Murray of the Spurs. Murray was expected to be the starting PG for San Antonio before getting injured for the entire season. Alexander-Walker might have a higher ceiling than Murray. Considered a potential 2019 lottery pick, the Virginia Tech star has a big decision to make.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NICKEIL ALEXANDER-WALKER
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