If Chris Singleton ever has trouble getting motivated next season, all he has to do is think back to his painful draft night experience and all the teams who didn’t think he was worth the selection.
The junior from Florida State was projected to be chosen as high as the sixth pick but took a dive down several teams’ drafts boards. Singleton was the only remaining player in the green room who had yet to hear his name called.
After the Washington Wizards chose him with the 18th pick, Singleton was asked if he planned on celebrating.
“Celebrate? I’m just going to go mark off the teams that passed me up. Probably just cuss them out in my head.”
As the 2010 and 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Singleton was widely considered the best defensive player in the draft. His work ethic and offensive production were a reason why team’s didn’t feel he was worthy of a lottery pick. Singleton says he’ll use the motivation from being passed by so many teams to make them sorry for many years to come.
“I felt like my value was higher than what I got picked but I’m fine with it. It’s just the way life goes. I mean just like everybody else, you keep track of things. We’re going to see,” he said. “I was pretty confident they were high on me. There were other teams, but a lot of people fell in different positions, and a lot of people didn’t think they were going to go in certain places. It just worked out the way it did. I’m a Wizard now.”
Singleton’s defensive prowess will allow him to defend almost any position on the floor. His quick feet and lateral quickness will let him keep up with quicker players on the perimeter while his impressive wingspan and 230 pound, 6’9” frame will let him defend post players in the paint. By default he is now the Wizards most versatile, and possibly their best defender.
A benefit of Singleton being drafted in the middle of the first round is that he won’t be depended on to contribute with the ball in his hands right away. Next season he will be best utilized as a rotational player who will guard the opposing teams’ best player.
Singleton has to improve his focus around the basket and his ability to knock down spot-up jumpers, other-wise he won’t be asked to make significant offensive contributions next season.
I believe Singleton’s playing style will be similar to Atlanta Hawks’ forward Josh Smith. They both stand at 6’9” and share extraordinary wingspans so it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest Singleton will be able to alter and block a lot of shots. Smith is a superior athlete but Singleton’s thee years of college experience will likely mean that he will be a more polished player early on in his career. Last season Smith was an NBA All-Defensive second team which is a level I trust Singleton can not only reach, but also exceed in a few seasons.