Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Profile: Nickeil Alexander-Walker

Virginia Tech Hokies guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Virginia Tech Hokies guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Nickeil Alexander-Walker is flying up draft boards into the lottery range of the 2019 NBA Draft. Should the Minnesota Timberwolves take him?

With the 2019 NBA Draft less than a month away, the Minnesota Timberwolves are close to adding another young piece to their roster. Although there are many potential prospects that could be taken number 11 overall by the Timberwolves, the most intriguing of all may be Nickeil Alexander-Walker out of Virginia Tech.

Alexander-Walker was born and raised in Toronto and is actually the cousin of Los Angeles Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who just had an extraordinary rookie year. After high school, he decided to go to Virginia Tech to continue his basketball career.

In two college seasons, Alexander-Walker was one of the best players on the team and contributed from game one. His freshman season, he averaged 10.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists while shooting 39.2 percent from 3-point range. In his sophomore season, he took another step forward. He improved drastically on his scoring output as well as his passing ability, producing 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game.

Alexander-Walker is a player that is all over the place on the various NBA Mock Drafts. Some have Alexander-Walker projected as a mid-to-late first rounder, while others have him as a solid lottery pick. Regardless of what the mock drafts say, he is certainly a player who is ready to contribute right away at the NBA level.

The Toronto native is great with both hands and has shown he is completely ambidextrous. There are several other players that are projected first-round picks that favor one hand over another, but not Walker-Alexander. He also has the ideal frame of an NBA combo-guard, standing at 6’5″ with a 6’9″ wingspan.

Due to his size, Walker-Alexander can player either guard position. Offensively, he can bring the ball up effectively as well as contribute off of the ball. This is key as the Timberwolves love using versatile players who can play multiple positions. Although not the greatest defender in college, he has the tools to be a solid defender at the next level.

When it comes to the downside of Alexander-Walker, he does lack explosiveness and tends to shy away from contact due to his wiry frame. With a full summer in an NBA training room, he could improve on his quickness and put on some size to combat both of these negatives.

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With the addition of Walker-Alexander, the Timberwolves would have a solid young core of guards to build on with him as well as Josh Okogie and restricted free agent Tyus Jones. If the Timberwolves are looking to draft a potential 3-and-D guard who can play immediately, Nickeil Alexander-Walker could be their guy.