The Minnesota Timberwolves’ newest shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker arrived in the same deal that added veteran point guard Mike Conley Jr. to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster. I admit that it hardly seems fair to name a guy who has played just two games for the Timberwolves on the roster bubble. Perhaps as you read on, it will make some sense.
The Timberwolves did not intend to acquire Alexander-Walker in any trade at the NBA Trade Deadline. But teams that are over the salary cap max have a number of intricate rules that govern how they may construct trades, and Alexander-Walker is a player who was included to level out the salary cap transfers among the Minnesota Timberwolves, the LA Lakers, and the Utah Jazz.
Give me just one reason
That is not to say that the guy is just a deadweight used to balance salaries. Shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a former first-round selection who is competing in his sixth NBA season. At one point, he showed tremendous promise with the New Orleans Pelicans, and undoubtedly former Pelicans GM Dell Demps, now a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves front office, played a significant role in including him in the trade.
That only goes so far as to give the guy ‘his shot,’ to prove he still has the potential to star in the NBA. Right now, he is slated to become a restricted free agent in the offseason, and the Minnesota Timberwolves retain his Bird Rights thanks to acquiring him via trade. But averaging 3.0 minutes and 1.0 points per game is hardly a compelling reason to extend the guy.
The Timberwolves have rookie Wendell Moore Jr. in line for a larger role next season. That could come at the expense of Nickeil Alexander-Walker.