Nickeil Alexander-Walker Standing Out Early At Jazz Camp

Sep 28, 2022, 3:02 PM
Nickeil Alexander-Walker - Utah Jazz - Chicago Bulls...
Nickeil Alexander-Walker #6 of the Utah Jazz during the first half of a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 16, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Nickeil Alexander-Walker has been an early standout at practice according to Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley.

The Jazz wrapped up day two of training camp on Wednesday, and Alexander-Walker drew the praise of his veteran teammate.

“Nickeil has really stood out to me a little bit with his ability to make plays and score and push the tempo,” Conley said.

Alexander-Walker joined the Jazz last year at the trade deadline in exchange for guard Joe Ingles. The third-year guard struggled to crack the rotation after the February trade and enters the season fighting for his NBA livelihood.

In a crowded Jazz backcourt, playing time may be hard to come by, especially with veterans like Conley, Collin Sexton, and Jordan Clarkson on the roster.

Originally selected with the 17th pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, Alexander-Walker was a regular in the New Orleans Pelicans rotation in his second and third year in the league, but never broke into Quin Snyder’s rotation.

New Jazz coach Will Hardy shared Conley’s optimism for the Virginia Tech product.

“He has good size, he’s a very good passer,” Hardy said. “He can put the ball in the basket — when he’s open and he shoots it, I think it’s going in.”

Seeing the ball go in will be a key for Alexander-Walker’s future with the Jazz. At 6-foot-6, the wing has ideal size for a modern NBA guard, but his three-point shooting percentage has never climbed above 35 percent in the NBA.

The Jazz have plenty of score-first guards in the rotation but would benefit from a floor-spacer who can also share the ball.

“He’s just really shown a confidence throughout open gym and training camp that has been really, really great for our group. His presence when he has the ball sort of settles everyone down,” Hardy said. “Nickeil’s been awesome.”

At media day Alexander-Walker admitted he’d been battling the high expectations he’d set for himself, hoping to find better success on the floor.

“I’m a perfectionist, I’m very detail-oriented,” the Jazz guard said. “So the small things, you want to make sure your intention is there, but if the result isn’t you’ve got to give yourself grace — you’re just human.”

Alexander-Walker has one year and $5 million left on his contract with the Jazz.

The team will make its preseason debut on Sunday in Edmonton against the Toronto Raptors.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Ben Anderson

Jazz Have Lost Six Of Eight After Falling To Warriors

The Utah Jazz dropped their sixth game in their last eight outings after falling to the Golden State Warriors 129-118.
1 day ago
Ben Anderson

Jazz Losing Streak Hits Three With Loss To Golden State

The Utah Jazz fell to the Golden State Warriors on the road 129-118 to extend their losing streak to three games. 
1 day ago
Ben Anderson

Kelly Olynyk Scores 13 In Third Quarter To Erase Warriors Lead

Kelly Olynyk scored 13 third quarter points as the Utah Jazz erased a 17-point Golden State Warriors lead. 
1 day ago
Ben Anderson

Walker Kessler Tells Draymond Green No At The Rim

Utah Jazz rookie Walker Kessler gave Draymond Green a firsthand look at his shot-blocking expertise on Friday night. 
1 day ago
Ben Anderson

Markkanen, Beasley Shine In Jazz Week Five Grades

The Jazz are through week five of the NBA season so it's time for another check-up on the four factors of a successful season.
1 day ago
Jordan Clarkson - Utah Jazz - Golden State Warriors...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Travel To Golden State To Face Curry, Warriors

The Utah Jazz will travel to face the Golden State Warriors on Friday night in a post-Thanksgiving day matchup. 
1 day ago
Nickeil Alexander-Walker Standing Out Early At Jazz Camp