Former Duke standout ,Kyle Singler, returned to his home state of Oregon this week to work out for the Portland Trailblazers.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, who recently completed his senior season with the Blue Devils, is expected to join Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer, Illinois forward Jereme Richmond, center Jeremy Tyler of Tokyo Apache and center Nikola Vucevic of USC as they preview their wares in advance of the June 23 NBA draft.
The Trailblazers are the 10th team Singler has worked out for so far.
While Singler can play up to three different positions at the next level, I think most people see him sticking to small forward spot.
From the News Observer:
Blazers coach Nate McMillan sees Singler playing primarily at the No. 3 spot. ”He’s been winning since high school and all the way through college,” McMillan said. “He’s going to be a solid player.”
Here’s the deal, Portland is stacked at SF. They traded away three players and two draft picks this past season for Gerald Wallace. Behind him you have three-year vet Nicolas Batum and then in the 2010 draft, they traded for the rights to Nevada’s Luke Babbitt.
First, why draft Singler if you took Babbitt the year before? The two are basically clones (and not just because they’re white). Both are good shooters (Babbitt may be better), gritty, do-anything-to-win players who both lack NBA athleticism.
Now Wallace is a free agent (his option) in 2012, while Batum is a restricted free agent that same year, so there’s that. However, I just can’t see the Trailblazers letting them both go. Either way, I’m just not sure Singler belongs there. If anything Portland could use depth at power forward or find a center to replace the aging Marcus Camby.
As for where Kyle Singler should end up…the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs have been popular destinations for the former Final-Four MVP.
I wouldn’t count on the Spurs. I think they’re championship days are close to being done and it’s time to start looking for the future, which means you don’t draft role players. I still like Jordan Williams ending up there (if he can last that long). He has his own issues, but I feel like his ceiling is higher.
The Bulls are interesting. Former Blue Devil Luol Deng is a solid starter at SF, but his backup (Rasual Butler) is a unrestricted free agent this summer. If they can’t resign him, Singler could slide into that backup spot nicely on a team that’s on the verge of being in the Finals.
The same can be said for the Thunder. Robert Vaden is the backup SF behind Kevin Durant, but he’s a restricted free agent in 2012. Since he barely played this past season (tough to get playing time with Durant in front of you), why not bring in a Kyle Singler, give him one year to get use to the league, cut Vaden loose in 2012 and let Singler take on the backup role on a championship-caliber team?
Worse case scenario, Singler slides to the second round, possibly to the Clippers.