New York Knicks: 2019 NBA Draft prospects to watch in ACC Tournament

Virginia De'Andre Hunter (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Virginia De'Andre Hunter (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Virginia Tech Nicheil Alexander-Walker (Hickey/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Virginia Tech Nicheil Alexander-Walker (Hickey/Getty Images) /

As the New York Knicks near the 2019 NBA Draft, which pro prospects should they watch in the upcoming ACC Tournament?

The college basketball season is nearing its finish with the 2019 NCAA Championship game. Only two teams will reach that pinnacle, however, leaving NBA teams like the New York Knicks little time to watch potential prospects, before they enter the 2019 draft.

The ACC is full of professional-caliber talent. There are potentially five-plus lottery picks among them in June, and most of them will be on display in the upcoming conference tournament.

Zion Williamson leads them all as Duke’s star, but a knee injury leaves his status in question, although he’s expected to return. Still, it’s almost too obvious to make him a “prospect to watch,” given how he’s taken over college basketball since October.

The talent level in the ACC goes past Williamson, some of whom will become top 10 or top five picks in the 2019 NBA Draft. Who are some of them to eye as the tournament starts Tuesday?

5. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech

Age: 21
Height, Weight: 6-foot-5, 200 pounds
Slash Line: .480/.384/.776
Season Averages: 16.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 1.8 3PM

Duke and North Carolina receive the headlines, but Virginia Tech has a formidable 23-7 record and are 12-6 in ACC play. They don’t even match in-state Virginia, but talent exists in this part of the conference, led by Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

Alexander-Walker doubles as a combo guard, with impressive numbers from behind the arc and the ability to dish nearly four times per game. It’s on a high 2.9 turnovers, but he can still handle the basketball if needed.

Defensively, the sophomore guard has nearly two steals and is capable of the occasional block. His 6-foot-9 wingspan isn’t extraordinary, but above-average and enough to make an impact at the opposite end of the court.

While an interesting player, the New York Knicks likely need to fall down the draft order in the lottery or trade down to select the Hokies’ star. His two-way potential is intriguing for a team needing anything that resembles outside shooting and defense, so he’d make sense if the front office wants to move to its Plan E or F in the lottery.