One season in, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Kyle Singler is a solid, NBA player, no?
He’s not going to wow you, but that’s alright. Most nights, he does what he needs to do to be useful on the floor — which helped earn him All-Rookie Second Team honors last season.
But as Singler rolls in at No. 257 on ESPN’s #NBArank countdown today, there’s one name ahead of him on the list that caught my eye: Steve Novak.
Nothing against Novak — arguably the league’s best “if there’s no one within 15 feet of me at any point around the 3-point line, I’m making this” shooter — but, I mean, Singler’s a better overall basketball player than the cement-footed Novak, right?
I know, I know, these rankings are to project what a player will do this season. The fact is, Singler’s starting job is now occupied by a much better player in Josh Smith. Meanwhile, Novak is going from a situational player on a good Knicks team to a, well, situational player on a not-so-good team in the Raptors.
Singler, on the other hand, is kind of in a weird spot. One of the Pistons’ better lineups, in theory, is probably Brandon Jennings and Chauncey Billups in the backcourt with a frontcourt of Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Smith.
No Singler, you see.
The bench situation, as Dan detailed earlier this month, is fluid. Singler will have chances to contribute because he can shoot a basketball and that tends to be an issue for some other guys on this team. But he’ll also be competing for playing time with Luigi Datome, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (until he earns that starting gig) and maybe Jonas Jerebko.
There’s not a clear spot in the rotation right now for Singler right now. Last season, Singler as a victim of his own situation. He’s not a guy who should have to guard starting-caliber wing players, nor should be be handling the ball much.
That shouldn’t be an issue this season. As long as he can focus on being a more consistent shooter — along with being able to come in and at least be serviceable on defense — he’ll probably be just fine.