If you've been following his career, you've likely heard that former South Dakota State standout Nate Wolters is looking for work. Reports surfaced Thursday morning that the Milwaukee Bucks were set to waive the former second round pick to make room for veteran big man Kenyon Martin.
The news is certainly disappointing for Wolters, and Jackrabbit fans everywhere, but it does open the door to a number of other professional possibilities.
He could find another NBA job, which is likely given his low price tag and the fact that he played pretty well when given the opportunity as a rookie.
There are a number of possible landing spots, including the Timberwolves. With Ricky Rubio still rehabbing his injured ankle and considering Mo Williams's uncertain future with the club, Wolters would be an inexpensive way to add some depth at the point guard position. The fact that he's a Minnesota native would only enhance the excitement, especially for folks in South Dakota.
Overseas is another possilbility. There's no shortage of opportunities across the pond, and I have no doubt that a number of clubs would love to add a player of Wolters caliber. The challenge is that it's foreign (no pun intnended). Finding the same level of competition Wolters experienced in the NBA is all but impossible, but finding the right league would make it a worthwhile experience, both athletically and financially. That's where a good agent really earns his keep.
If he can't find anything he likes overseas, there's always the NBA Development League. There's no doubt that fans in South Dakota would love to see the Jackrabbits' all-time leading scorer return to the state to play for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. That, however, is a little complicated, due to the 'Force's hybrid affiliation with the Miami HEAT.
To clarify exactly what the possibilities were and how the system works, I reached out to former Skyforce Media/Public Relations Director, Brett Hansen, who is the local expert on that sort of thing.
According to Hansen, a Wolters-to-Sioux Falls scenario could only play out if one of two things happened. Wolters would have to either sign with the D-League and be assigned to Sioux Falls through waivers - a system based on numerical priority - or he would have to sign with Miami and be assigned to the Skyforce by the NBA club, which is responsible for all basketball decisions.
The allocation system - once responsible for sending players like Jared Reiner, Vincent Grier, and Joe Krabbenhoft to Sioux Falls - was discontinued by the D-League a few years ago.
The NBA, like all other professional sports leagues, is a business. This is part of it. Is it unfortunate for Wolters? Yes. Is it the end of the road? Far from it.