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Lowe: Blazers Should Have Kept Nickeil Alexander-Walker

The ESPN analyst believes the Blazers let a good one go in February 2022.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game One Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers General Manager Joe Cronin overhauled the roster in February 2022, moving a group of veterans for picks and players on team-friendly trades.

The deal that sent CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell to the New Orleans Pelicans yielded picks, Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Didi Louzada and Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

The next day, Alexander-Walker was sent to the Utah Jazz, in a three-team deal with the Blazers receiving Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes and a second round pick.

One year on, Alexander-Walker was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a larger three-team deal, with the guard figuring in the Minneapolis franchise’s first round playoffs series.

This week, ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Sportsnet’s Blake Murphy discussed Team Canada’s performance at this month’s FIBA World Cup. They highlighted Alexander-Walker’s performance averaging 9.4 points on 38 percent from three, 2 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

Lowe highlighted the 25-year-old guard’s contribution and asked why the Blazers let him go 18 months ago.

I never understood why Portland got him in the CJ McCollum deal — you’re like oh that’s like a smart flyer for a team to take — and then a day later dumped him to Utah for Joe Ingles who was injured and on an expiring contract. I just never understood that and he was like pretty good in Utah and pretty good in Minnesota who resigned him.

You can listen to the discussion here, one hour and 16 minutes in.