The Portland Trail Blazers have been busy in recent weeks as they prepare for next week’s NBA draft. The Blazers have the No. 10 pick overall, but also have three second-round selections. With four picks, they’ve been forced to look at plenty of players, and study the strengths and weaknesses of each one as they begin to determine which ones they may want to select.
An early second-round pick who has been popping up into Trail Blazer draft discussions has been 6-foot-5 point guard Nate Wolters from South Dakota State. As a senior, he had a fine season at South Dakota and put up enough statistics to draw attention of teams such as the Trail Blazers.
Wolters averaged 38.1 minutes, 22 points per game, 5.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.7 steals a game. He shot 48.5 percent from the floor, 37.9 percent in 3-pointers and 81.3 percent in free throws. On both ends of the court, it was an excellent season for Wolters and South Dakota State.
Those are rather impressive stats for a point guard who drives to the rim well, handles the ball impressively and is considered a good shooter with range. The Trail Blazers are looking for players who can produce on a consistent basis. It would appear that Wolters fits into that category, but it might take him a few NBA seasons to develop.
The question mark would be if a product from South Dakota State can handle an 82-game NBA regular season. Athletes from schools with lesser basketball reputations have been able to do so and the Blazers believe Wolters fits into that category.