Nickeil Alexander-Walker to Pelicans: NO's Current Roster After 2019 NBA Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

Virginia Tech guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker plays against Saint Louis during a first-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Virginia Tech Hokies combo guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft Thursday at the Barclays Center in New York City.

Here is a look at their roster after the pick.

Check out B/R NBA draft expert Jonathan Wasserman’s scouting profile on Alexander-Walker. 


Brandon Ingram, SF: $6M (2020)

Christian Wood, PF: $1.6M (2020)

Dairis Bertans, SG: $0.8M (2020)

E'Twaun Moore, SG: $8.5M (2020)

Frank Jackson, PG: $1.3M (2020)

Jahlil Okafor, C: $1.6M (2020)

Josh Hart, SG: $1.7M (2021)

Jrue Holiday, PG: $26.4M (2022)

Kenrich Williams, SF: $1.1M (2020)

Lonzo Ball, PG: $7.5M (2021)

Zion Williamson, PF: $8.1M (2023)

Jaxson Hayes, C: $4.3M (2023)

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG: $2.7M (2023)

Marcos Louzada Silva, SF


Cheick Diallo, PF: RFA

Darius Miller, SF: UFA

Elfrid Payton, PG: UFA

Ian Clark, SG: UFA

Julius Randle, PF: UFA

Stanley Johnson, SF: RFA

Trevon Bluiett, SG: UFA

After a solid freshman campaign in 2017-18, Alexander-Walker showcased significant progress as a sophomore this past season. He averaged 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.7 threes while shooting 47.4 percent from the field, including 37.4 percent from beyond the arc, in 34 games.

The 20-year-old Toronto native ranked 22nd among Division I guards in box plus-minus and was one of just 25 guards with both offensive and defensive win shares above 2.0 in 2018-19, per Sports Reference.

His two-way game should become his calling card at the next level. He may never become an elite scorer in the NBA, but his outside shooting and defensive ability make him a high-upside selection in an era where three-and-D players hold immense value.

NBA draft consultant Chris Ekstrand explained to Mark Berman of the Roanoke Times an injury to fellow Hokies guard Justin Robinson in late January, which allowed Alexander-Walker to run the offense more frequently, helped bolster his draft stock down the stretch.

The player himself also noted his progression at the time.

"It helped me become a more well-rounded player," Alexander-Walker told Berman. "My leadership role had to step up, and my passing role—being able to create for others and myself."

Ekstrand added, "He's an excellent prospect, but he's also just like most of these guys in the draft these days—not a finished product. He's going to get better as he goes along. Part of it will just be getting stronger."

Alexander-Walker possesses one of the most balanced skill sets in the draft. He'd likely have become a top-five pick if he could have matched the athleticism of the Duke Blue Devils' Zion Williamson or Murray State Racers' Ja Morant, but his NBA future is still bright.

He should slot in as a reserve during his rookie season with the Pelicans, but his role should steadily increase in the years ahead. He'll join a strong Pels draft class that includes Williamson and Jaxson Hayes.