Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like Kyle Singler’s college career flew by. Dukies have a habit of seeming like they’re in college for about nine years (Christian Laettner and Grant Hill, for example), but Singler’s four-year career went by really quick. He was obviously a very good college basketball player. Will that game translate to the NBA, though?
Measurables: 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, senior F from Duke
Key stats: 16.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists per game while shooting 43 percent from the field and 32 percent from three
Projected: Second round
How would he help the Pistons?
I’m not convinced that he would. But I’m also a proponent of teams taking the best available player regardless of position in the second round. Second round picks are usually longshots to make a roster. A large percentage of guys never amount to much in the NBA. So even if the Pistons are fairly solid at the forward spot, a player like Singler may very well be the guy who has the best shot to make a roster when the Pistons pick.
These are the things he has going for him: he’s a decent 3-point shooter, he rebounds well for a guy who operates on the perimeter a lot, he’s a good passer for his size and he’s won a lot of games while being asked to play different roles during his Duke career. If the Pistons lose Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady to free agency and with the assumption that Jonas Jerebko is going to be counted on to play at least some of his minutes at the four, the Pistons actually could be in a position to add depth. Singler, as a guy who can shoot but is also big and strong enough to give some minutes at the four, might not be a bad pickup if he’s available and all of the promising bigs in the draft are off the board.
How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?
Singler won’t score inside. He can hit a midrange jumper, but a high percentage of his points in college come from 15 feet and out. He also didn’t shoot the ball well his senior season after being near 40 percent from three during his first three seasons. The Pistons also have a forward on the roster who is a bit too perimeter happy in Charlie Villanueva.
As much criticism as Villanueva has taken from fans, there’s a big difference between him and Singler: Villanueva is much more athletic. While Villanueva can surely slide over to the three and at least be OK athletically at the position, Singler still has to prove he can do that at the NBA level.
What are others saying?
"The fact that Singler has been a role-player essentially throughout his college career, doing so on a competitive and winning team throughout, will play in his favor, though. He is not the type of player who will need to make a huge transition in his style of play to make an impact. Furthermore, he’s ready to contribute immediately, as he’s a mature player both physically and mentally, who has been coached by one of the most respected men in basketball over the past four years. These things, along with his strong intangibles, could all look very attractive to a good team drafting in the second half of the first round looking for a solid piece to add to their rotation."
"NBA execs look for similarities for help in projections, so anything Singler can do to separate himself from (Gordon) Hayward would be great, and that starts with his perimeter shot. Hayward was good his first season and bad as a sophomore, and Singler is working on an “average, good, good, average” run over his four years. Of course, this season could end up as an excellent one from deep, starting with his 5-for-9 performance against Oregon. Combine a sharpshooter with the fighter/hustler Singler has proved to be in the past against a team like Michigan State? That’s a guy every team will covet."
"Singler needs little room to get off a shot with his high release point in a 6’9 body … When he’s not spotting up, he shows offensive versatility in that he can hit a number of different types of shots in different ways … Reliable mid-range game with ability to shoot off dribble, although prefers to catch and shoot… High basketball IQ, high awareness of what’s going on around him which helps him defensively off the ball, as well as with the ball in his hands in regards to finding teammates cutting to the hoop… Sees court well for 6’9 forward … Fiery and competitive kid who just has a great overall feel for the game."
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