Kyle Singler, chosen by the Detroit Pistons in the 2011 NBA draft, embraced the opportunity to live and play overseas with the lockout looming. He initially signed with Lucentum Alicante, a second-tier squad in Valencia. Once the lockout ended, he had the option returning home to try making his NBA team. He instead opted to remain in Spain for the remainder of the year, signing with the Real Madrid.
“I knew at the end of the year that I was probably going to come back to the United States,” Singler says. “But with the shortened season, I didn’t really know if I was going to play a lot [with the Pistons] just because of the lockout. I felt like staying was the best choice.”
The move worked out brilliantly for Singler as he went on to crack the Pistons’ starting lineup this season.
There were a few commenters here who were critical of Singler for not coming back to the U.S. when the lockout ended, but he actually made a very wise move, and his would’ve been teammate last season, Vernon Macklin, is a great example of why. Macklin didn’t go overseas during the lockout and, although he made Detroit’s roster, because of the lack of Summer League and abridged training camp, it became very difficult for him to crack the rotation as a rookie. By the offseason, despite putting up solid numbers in very limited minutes, the Pistons (and, in fact, no NBA team) did not have a spot for him and he’s now playing internationally. Singler got playing time in a very solid league last season that he wouldn’t have received as a rookie, and it has had obvious benefits for him.