Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Can Singleton still be a 3 and D specialist?
By Joe Kaiser
UPDATE: If Chris Singleton does work his way into the rotation as a 3 and D specialist, either with Washington or another team, it probably won't come until a few months into the season. The third-year small forward will miss time with a foot injury.
The Wizards reported today that Singleton will miss approximately 6-to-8 weeks after undergoing surgery today to repair a Jones fracture to the fifth metatarsal of his left foot.
This is another blow to Singleton's chances of earning a role in the Wizards rotation, and will almost certainly put him further behind rookie Otto Porter Jr and veteran Trevor Ariza for backup minutes to Martell Webster at small forward.
Chris Singleton's NBA career has yet to take off, and heading into year three the former first-rounder again finds himself buried in Washington's small forward rotation. This season, not only will he have to fight for minutes with Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza as in the past, but also the savvy glue-like presence of rookie lottery pick Otto Porter Jr.
Singleton, the No. 18 overall pick in 2011, saw his minutes drop from 21.7 per game as a rookie to 16.2 per game last season, and his future increasingly looks like it will be somewhere other than with the Wizards. Might he still be a sneaky value as a "3 and D" wing that so many teams covet these days? Lets take a look.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pounder earned a reputation at Florida State for his hard-nosed defense and relentless hustle, making it somewhat surprising how little of an impact he's had on the woeful Wizards teams over the past two years. Clearly, his confidence was down last season, when his 3-point shooting dropped to 19.4 percent. And his shooting as a whole may never be a great part of his game.
But here's the reason why Singleton could still be worth a flyer for a contending team looking to add a piece that can help: This is a guy who did shoot 34.6 percent from downtown as a rookie, and while poor offensively he remains a force defensively. In fact, Synergy shows that Singleton allowed .794 points per play last season, ranking him in the 81st percentile in all the league.
We have to believe defensive-minded teams like Indiana, Chicago and Memphis could have interest in a 23-year-old like Singleton with this skill set, and other teams with need for depth at small forward like New Orleans, Houston, Cleveland and Atlanta could also become potential suitors. Singleton is set to enter the final guaranteed year of his rookie deal, and has a $2.62 million team option for 2014-15.