Tennessee sent three players to the NBA on Thursday night, marking just the third time in school history that three Vols had been taken in the same draft. The player that got left out of that equation was Kyle Alexander, who found plenty of NBA interest in the pre-draft process.
On Friday, the Canada native found a summer league opportunity with the Miami Heat. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony had the news.
Canada update: Simi Shittu will play summer league with the Memphis Grizzlies. Lindell Wigginton will play summer league with the Toronto Raptors. O'Shae Brissett: summer league with the LA Clippers. Kyle Alexander summer league with Miami Heat. All will keep their options open— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 21, 2019
The summer league begins on July 5th and will run through July 15th in Las Vegas. While the opportunity doesn’t mean anything in terms of a roster spot for the 2019-2020 NBA season, it’s a chance to impress in front of NBA eyes.
Alexander is another three-star recruit turned NBA prospect for Rick Barnes. The 6-11 center was never a real offensive threat for the Vols, but he was their defensive anchor. His length and ability to protect the rim made things difficult on opposing offenses, while taking some defensive pressure off of the smaller Grant Williams. Alexander finished his Tennessee career with 185 blocks, good for second in program history.
As a senior, Alexander notched 7.4 points, 1.7 blocks and 6.7 rebounds per game. He routinely struggled with foul trouble, as evidenced by his 23 minutes per game average. Alexander flashed a jumper from time to time — something that he will need continue working on if he’s going to land on an NBA roster anytime soon.
For now, Alexander is an interesting defensive depth piece that NBA teams will get a chance to further evaluate next month in Vegas.