Neither the Milwaukee Bucks nor Nate Wolters envisioned he would be start 29 games (and counting) when they selected him in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Extreme circumstances that include injuries and tanking have contributed to this, but Wolters has also impressed the team with each opportunity thrown his way.
In the NBA, second-round picks don’t typically make rosters, and they especially don’t start. Wolters was expected to fight for a place as a role player, but instead he is running the backcourt alongside Brandon Knight. The two of them (along with their young frontcourt) bring hope for the future, a much-needed commodity for Bucks fans given their last place record.
Wolters is contributing over seven points, three assists and a pair of rebounds in just over 22 minutes a game. Just for fun, per 36 minutes that would equal over 11 points, five assists and four rebounds a game. Again, this is impressive given the lack of experience and youth surrounding him. Another important factor is improvement and wanting to be coached. Hard workers are Larry Drew type guys, and it has become clear he favors Wolters over other options he has been presented with (see: Gary Neal and O.J. Mayo).
Wolters must keep his energy high and continue to focus on improvement. At the very least Milwaukee will need a backup guard who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Who knows what the future brings? After all, no one expected to hear Wolters’ name in a starting lineup this year yet here he is.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant