If I Was Kyle Singler…


First of all, I could never be Kyle Singler. If you’ve ever seen my jump shot, you’d know what I’m talking about. I also could never imagine being in his shoes right now, forced to make a life-changing decision…to go or not to go?

Having said that, I’m certainly going to try to be Kyle Singler…for at least one post.

Would I go pro or would I come back for one more year of college?

For me, the answer is…I’d go, although I wouldn’t say it is an easy answer.

First, I’ve accomplished what I’ve wanted to accomplish in college. I won a national championship. I did it playing my best ball, winning MVP of the Final Four. I went head-to-head against other pro prospects (West Virginia’s Butler and Butler’s Hayward) and I was the better player on the court each time.

Sure I could get better as a player with another year of college. Just look how I did this past year. I struggled early at a new position, but by the end of the season, I was one of the most productive players in the nation. I earned All-ACC First team.

However, even if I improve my ball-handling skills some and get my three-pt shooting above 40%, the one big strike against me, my athleticism, will still be a concern next year. As great as Coach Kryzewski is, he’s never going to make me run faster or jump higher. What’s the old saying, “you can’t teach speed?” It’s true.

If I turned pro this year (which seems to be the popular thing to do), I’m projected to go anywhere between 17-30. Of course there is a big difference it terms of cash betwen #17 and #30. At #17, I’m going to average about 1.2-million over three years. If I’m #30, I’m looking at just under 900k per season.

In reality though, I would be shocked if I fell into the 20’s, which would land me about 1.1-million per for three years. More importantly, that’s just one more year less before I can become a free agent.

Now I know what some will say. If I come back, get better, I’ll be drafted higher, thus make more money. But how true is that? Let’s assume there is no lockout and the rookie salary structure is the same. Where would I end up?

Next year’s draft will again have some one-and-done’s and lots of early entries. Even with improvement, I don’t think I’m going to crack the top-10. Think about it, in 2011, teams will possible get to choose between Harrison Barnes, Enes Kanter, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger and Alex Burks, just to name a few.

But just for fun, let’s pretend that I can improve my game and be the 10th pick in the draft next year.  My average salary will be 1.9-million. That’s a good amount change in my pocket, but that again assumes I can get into the top-10 and that assumes there will be no lockout.

The fact is, for it to be financially beneficial for me, I need to probably be be drafted no worse than #14, since I would make the same amount of money (in the same time frame).

Of course, this isn’t just about money. My family out in Oregon has done fine for themselves, so I don’t have to worry about hardships.

The thing is, going pro now can only get me better. First, the benefit of getting drafted later, instead of the lottery is that I won’t be asked to save some sinking ship of a franchise. I’ll end up on a playoff team. Sure I won’t start and I won’t get a ton of playing time, but I will get to practice day in and day out with some of the world’s best basetball players.

Like I said, that’s what I would do if I was Kyle Singler and those are my reasons why…but again, I’m not him.

For all we know, he might like college life. Plus, if he comes back, the Blue Devils would be the preseason No 1 team and he would have a chance to not only repeat as a champion, but earn All-American honors and maybe even get his name lifted up into the Cameron Indoor rafters. Those are three very important things.

Time will tell how important.