Kyle Nelson Kyle Singler
has certainly lived up to his lofty high school ratings
as far as Duke is concerned. With his senior season and college career winding down, Singler is again an essential piece of a talented team that is a key contender in the hunt for a second national championship. His NBA future is still very much a cause for debate, though.
Singler has decent size for an NBA combo-forward at 6-8 with a solid 230-pound frame and average length. As mentioned in previous articles
, he is just an average athlete, however, without NBA-caliber explosiveness or quickness.
Though his numbers and percentages have fluctuated, Singler has progressed gradually as a scorer during his four years at Duke. He is averaging 17.5 points per game primarily as a spot-up shooter on just 20.2% of Duke's overall offensive possessions. While he is shooting only 36.4% from beyond the arc on six attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted, he still shows the same high release, quick release point, and fluid mechanics as in the past. On film, he is a streaky shooter who flourishes in rhythm, but who often displays shaky shot selection, which he will certainly need to improve as he transitions to a new role at the next level.
Though Singler is still a solid perimeter shooter, he is a less than efficient scorer inside of the arc. His 48.8% 2FG ranks him in the bottom half of our top 100 prospect rankings
, but it represents his best showing since his freshman season. Singler displays a solid mid-range arsenal built on footwork and fundamentals, but he lacks the first step to excel as a slasher even at the collegiate level.
His lack of explosiveness does him few favors around the rim where he continues to struggle as a finisher, especially against long and athletic defenders. He also struggles to get to the line, where he attempts just 4.1 free throws per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Similarly, while his ball-handling skills have improved, he still drives right on almost 70% of his possessions.
Singler will likely play a similar role as a spot-up shooter at the next level and he has proven to be an outstanding role player for Duke throughout his career. This season, in particular, he has thrived as a capable and willing passer while turning the ball over a career low 1.9 times per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Similarly, his high energy level, effort, and focus on offense will likely help him overcome some of his athletic deficiencies in the NBA.
Despite being a solid man-to-man defender at the collegiate level, Singler will likely struggle at the next level due to his below average lateral quickness and length. As has been the case throughout his career, Singler struggles to stay in front of quick perimeter players and oftentimes lacks the strength and size to guard the post, which is a positional issue that will follow him to the next level.
Furthermore, Singler has regressed further as a rebounder, averaging just 6.9 rebounds to 40 minutes pace adjusted, numbers that are decent for a small forward
and very poor for a power forward
Though Singler is a proven winner and a relatively complete player at this point in his career, there are questions surrounding the extent of his upside, as he doesn't seem to have improved a great deal over the past few years. Not possessing the size or strength to operate effectively in the post, or the quickness and ball-handling skills to be a great shot-creator on the wing, there are some concerns about whether Singler is destined for a role as a one-dimensional player, one who is not particularly consistent at that particular dimensionshooting.
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.
Nonetheless, scouts will be watching closely to see how well he performs down the stretch against elite competition and in individual workouts. While Singler's draft stock may not be as high as earlier in his career, his size, basketball IQ, and pedigree will surely endear him to NBA teams.