Draft Profile: Nickeil Alexander-Walker

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

Combo Guard

6’5, 205 lb

Virginia Tech #4

The second best Canadian born player out of the draft, Walker has a lot to offer to the team that drafts him as he is one of the most versatile players in this draft class.

Fr. 10.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 44% fg, 39% 3p, ortg: 106, drtg: 102

So. 16.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.0 apg, 47% fg, 37% 3p, ortg: 111, drtg: 94

Walker made improvements to his game in this upcoming season and it did nothing but wonders for the Virginia Tech program and Walker himself.

Image result for nickeil alexander-walker

When evaluating talent statistics tell only half of the story as metrics cannot measure intangibles while studying Walker I found the closest comparison to him in the league is Dejounte Murray. In today’s NBA 3 and D players are valuable and often key assets to championship teams. Walker has a tremendous first step on his blow by and uses explosiveness in combination with long strides to get to the basket. With his length, he can finish with both hands and often finds himself getting multiple and 1’s while finishing strong at the rim. One of the unique aspects is he loves to go left and finish with his left, but he shoots with his right. This could explain his unorthodox shot, but he still has been able to find consistency shooting 38% from behind the arc in his college career. Walker has made a name for himself for being sneaky and finding multiple gaps in the defense to get open and get himself great open looks, he does not just find shots from behind the line but also likes to find gaps to get some sweet mid-range jumpers. This ability will only translate even better into an NBA offense where he will play off the ball and be a spot up shooter. Walker’s offensive versatility has bumped his draft stock up and has put him on multiple teams’ radars. Using that explosive first step you can see him come off multiple dribble handoffs and attack the defense which will cause it to collapse and allow the extra pass to the perimeter. Even while being drafted into the league as more of a role player and can be integrated into an NBA offense, Walker can play iso ball and can get his own bucket. Great footwork helps Walker fake out his defenders and occasionally get a nice Dirk fadeaway (One of his go-to moves).  While not a willing passer he can play the 1 and 2 and impact the game like Donovan Mitchell with 5 or 6 assists.

There is no debate the value with Walker is his upside mixed in with his intangibles. At 205 pounds he comes into the league with a lanky frame but great length to help defend at the NBA level. My favorite thing in any rookie is a rookie that comes into the NBA and knows how to play defense. Walker is not your typical guard at defense, he reminds me a lot like a young Wade playing defense. Extremely active in the passing lanes and always playing one pass ahead, a great shot blocker and great playing one on one defense on the ball. Walker turns defense into offense, he gets in the passing lane and takes the ball and is an A- player in transition where he excels and gets most of his points.  His impact on the game clearly shows on the stat sheet as his offensive rating jumped from 106 to 111 which is progress. The impressive metric is his defensive rating going from 102 to 94 which means per 100 possessions on the floor 8 points less are scored.

As it stands Walker is projected to be drafted by the Miami Heat with the 13th pick which I think with Winslow at the point and J Rich at Small Forward we can use him as our new young prospect.

Where do you think Walker should be drafted?

 

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