Rookie Review: Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Via USAToday Sports
Nickeil Alexander-Walker was one of the best NBA prospects Virginia Tech had ever seen from the moment he stepped on campus. NAW arrived in Blacksburg as the 2nd highest ranted recruit in school history, and deservedly so.
Nickeil lived up to the hype, starting all 67 games during his two years as a Hokie. He finished his career averaging 13.5 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists before declaring for the draft after his sophomore year.
Most knew Nickeil would be a first round pick, but the question was how early would he be drafted? The answer came when the Brooklyn Nets selected him with the 17th overall pick, making him the first Hokie selected in the first round since Dell Curry. Nickeil was then traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he joined fellow first round rookies Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes.
NAW's rookie year was filled with flashes of skill and potential. When on the floor, his offensive potential was easy to see. Unfortunately, on a team full of veteran guards, minutes were hard to come by. Nickeil finished his rookie campaign averaging 5.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists.
Nickeil earned his first career start in the Pelicans' last game of the season. In 36 minutes, NAW put up a career high 29 points, to go along with seven assists. The future is bright in NOLA, don't be surprised to see NAW taking place in Rising Stars Challenge in 2021.