Nickeil Alexander-Walker To Become Unrestricted Free Agent

The Timberwolves have decided against issuing a qualifying offer to Nickeil Alexander-Walker, making the former first-round pick an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

However, according to Scotto, the Wolves are still hopeful Alexander-Walker is open to reunion after they acquired him in February via trade. Minnesota could have made him a restricted free agent and had the right of first refusal had the team extended the $7,073,602 QO, but instead he’ll hit the open market.

The 17th pick of the 2019 draft, Alexander-Walker spent his first two-plus seasons with the Pelicans before being moved at the 2022 trade deadline. He was technically a Trail Blazer for one day before being re-routed to Utah, where he spent a year prior to being sent to Minnesota four months ago.

In 59 games (15.0 MPG) with the Jazz and Wolves in 2022/23, Alexander-Walker averaged 5.9 PPG, 1.8 APG and 1.7 RPG on .444/.384/.667 shooting. He also chipped in 8.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG and 1.4 APG on .429/.400/.667 shooting in five playoff games (29.6 MPG).

While those numbers don’t necessarily jump off the page, he made major strides defensively last season, playing a critical role down the stretch for the Wolves as a perimeter stopper. That role increased due to late-season injuries to key rotation players like Jaden McDaniels, Naz Reid, and to a lesser extent Kyle Anderson, who sustained an eye injury in Minnesota’s first-round loss to the Nuggets.

Still just 24 years old, the Canadian guard/forward will be an interesting player to monitor when free agency kicks off tomorrow. Alexander-Walker should have plenty of suitors given his blend of skills, particularly defensively.

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