NBA Mock Draft: Jaren Jackson Jr. could help end the Magic’s never-ending rebuild

EAST LANSING, MI - DECEMBER 21: Jaren Jackson Jr.
EAST LANSING, MI - DECEMBER 21: Jaren Jackson Jr. /
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As conference play continues across the country, we are re-visiting our NBA mock draft, the first version of which went up last week as NCAA conference season began.

Pick order is based upon 538’s CARM-Elo projections, and you’ll notice that this is the first edition in which we analyze each pick from the drafting team’s perspective. That means team needs are taken into consideration, as well as fit.

Virginia Tech. Nickeil Alexander-Walker. 30. player. 41. . PG/SG

The offense Virginia Tech runs couldn’t be further from a NBA system, but I remain optimistic that Alexander-Walker has the tools to be a good two-way player in the NBA. His ceiling outcome is a really good two-way role player, something the Warriors will need desperately to continue their run of championship contention.

On New Year’s Eve against Syracuse, Alexander-Walker put together one of his better performances for the Hokies’ 19th-ranked offense, nailing four threes on his way to 19 points. The freshman shoots when open within Virginia Tech’s zone-busting offense. He is a strong, balanced driver and shoots a sound jumper with a quick release.

He may return to school next year if the Hokies feel like there is room to grow for this surprising squad, which has been boosted by his presence. And the biggest concern with his development will be adding a level of burst to his game, which we have not seen this season. Perhaps his strength will be his biggest weapon as an offensive player, but if he does not get quicker or more explosive off the dribble, he could struggle against better man defense at the next level.