With some of the basketball world's biggest and most talented superstars already gracing NBA hardwoods all over, it's all the more crucial for D-League athletes to find a respective niche and develop it in order to stand out.
That said, those who are able to prove themselves as versatile goes a long way towards gauging their value to a team in a number of different ways. In this interest, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants' Matt Bouldin is truly one of the league's few swiss army knives.
At 6'5" and 215 pounds, Bouldin is an efficient guard with evident skills both as an one and two. Running the floor, he's steady in the pick and roll. He's a great orchestrator, and is more than able to push the tempo when necessary. This provides Fort Wayne with the chance to create more offensive opportunities for themselves. Obviously the more shots a given team takes, the more they'll subsequently make. Throwing Bouldin into the mix certainly increases the Mad Ants' chances of getting more shots up in a hurry.
Interestingly enough, Bouldin is arguably equally as crafty off the ball as a two-guard, as well. He spreads the floor and picks his spots effectively. Though he's only about a 35% career shooter from downtown, his respective prowess still keeps defenses honest.
Bouldin's taller frame creates mismatches, whether that means fending off smaller defenders to obtain an advantage, or simply hovering over opposing ball-handlers. He has good instincts and even better hands. In a league where guarding up is becoming all the more of an important practice, he can even defend opposing small forwards a bit as well.
A Gonzaga alum, Bouldin had an impressive collegiate careers. Still, he's one of those players where you look back, suddenly blink, and he happens to already be 27 years of age. The guard is a bonafide veteran of both D-League and international competition. Currently in the latter years of his twenties, it remains to be seen if the minor league champion gets more looks from NBA teams as Summer League and training camp approach.
He should. In Summer League, he'd be able to use the opportunity to show his ability to lead an offense. In camp, he could stand tall as the pesky vet willing to push others in practice.
Needless to say, Bouldin continues to prove his value, and has done so consistently since returning to the Mad Ants earlier this month.