Most of the beat writers covering the team have already reported that 2011 Pistons draft pick Kyle Singler is probably a good bet to sign with the team next season and leave Spain. ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, whose specialty is international basketball and prospects, added this in response to a question he received on Singler:
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) June 7, 2012
As much as I defended Singler’s decision to say in Spain — and I still do — the timing is probably right for him to come to the NBA now. According to all the reports about how well he’s played, staying overseas for an entire season worked for him. He played a lot in one of the top league’s in Europe and he got better. Now he comes to the NBA as an established NBA player rather than a second rounder fighting for a roster spot in an abbreviated training camp. Plus, the Pistons roster situation could be much better for him this year anyway. If Ben Wallace retires as expected and if Jason Maxiell opts out of his contract (less expected, but still possible) and if Charlie Villanueva is traded, bought out or amnestied (pretty unlikely, but you never know), there are potentially minutes up for grabs at the four spot. And, since Singler projects as kind of a 3-4 hybrid forward, he is looking at a small forward battle where Damien Wilkins is a free agent and probably unlikely to be retained and Austin Daye‘s bad season certainly made his path to earning a rotation spot a more difficult one. Overall, that’s just a much better opportunity for Singler to be walking into this year than it was last season.
And for the Pistons, they win here too. Singler turned heads in Spain. He played better than most expected him to there, he played significant minutes (something he probably wouldn’t have done as a rookie in Detroit), he developed some and he should be more NBA-ready coming into this season. The Pistons still should be looking to solidify their forward spots and I don’t think Singler is any kind of savior, but if he can give good backup minutes providing toughness, hustle and 3-point shooting, he’ll be a major upgrade over what they had last year in the backup small forward spot.