The Case For Leaving
Singler’s stock is very high right now
Whether it’s the correct way to judge a player or not, NBA GMs and scouts seem to put a good amount of weight on NCAA tournament performances. Clearly Singler did himself proud in this area. He was MOP of the Final Four, averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds during those two games.
Even more impressive was the string of defensive performances Singler turned in against talented wing players. He held West Virginia’s Da’Sean Butler and Butler’s Gordon Hayward to a combined 4-of-19 from the field. That had to ease at least some of the concerns about whether Singler could defend small forwards in the NBA.
The lockout is looming
Folks that cover the NBA speak of a lockout after the 2011 season as a fait accompli. If that’s the case then the owners would likely shut things down shortly after the 2011 draft. Then it’s a matter of how long the lockout would last. Until it’s resolved, those 2011 draftees don’t get paid. Let’s say it lasted a full season. Now you’re looking at waiting two years, rather than one, for your first payday if you bypass the 2010 draft.
Also, the lockout would delay the start of a 2011 draftee’s “rookie clock” - i.e. how long he has to wait before he can become a free agent and then sign for the really big bucks.
Duke’s roster will be markedly different next season.
In a way this season was a perfect NBA showcase for Singler. Because Duke’s roster was so light on guards and so heavy on big men, Mike Krzyzewski had no choice but to play Singler big minutes on the perimeter, where he got to display all of his small forward skills.
Next season Singler might not spend quite as much time out on the wing. First, two key post players - Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek - have moved on. Rising sophomore Ryan Kelly is skilled, but he’s hardly a banger. It’s hard to project whether incoming freshman Josh Hairston will be able to make an immediate impact in the paint.
Meanwhile, Duke next season will be flush with guards. Incoming freshman Kyrie Irving will play big minutes at point guard. It’s a given that Nolan Smith will also get big minutes. But what of sophomore transfer Seth Curry, whom many believe will be ready to play big role when he finally steps on the floor for the Blue Devils? Or fellow sophomore Andre Dawkins, who showed flashes of being a big-time scorer last season?
It’s not far-fetched that Krzyzewski could go back to the three-guard lineup he’s used with much success in the past. If so, then Singler would go back to spending at least a chunk of time at power forward - i.e. a position he’s not projected to play in the pros.
It had to have been hard to watch West Virginia’s senior star crumple to the floor with a serious knee injury in his final game and not think, “what if?”
The Case For Staying
New York subway cars are less crowded than this draft.
Remember that lockout thing I mentioned earlier? Well it has the attention of lots of college underclassmen. As a result approximately 56 of them have put their names in the draft. Add in a group of seniors and international players as well - while bearing in mind that only 30 players will get picked in the first round (and thus get a guaranteed contract) - and you can see that the math doesn’t add up.
Ed Singler, Kyle’s father, told the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer that Singler is projected as a solid first round pick but the margin for error gets smaller and smaller with each talented underclassman that enters the draft. What happens if, say, the team at No. 25 that was projected to take Singler has a last-minute change of heart and picks someone else, and then the next five teams aren’t looking for a small forward? It’s admittedly an unlikely scenario, but one that would at least have to be considered.
The talent pool for 2011 draft is looking mighty shallow.
With so many players taking the plunge now, the 2011 draft is wide open. Even if Singler doesn’t bring his game up another notch next season, you’d have to think he’d be a higher draft pick in 2011, just based on the lack of competition alone.
The key elements here - how much higher could he go? And how long will the lockout last?
Krzyzewski has two good recent examples - J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams - he can use to show the merits of staying one more season.
Again, though, there’s that lockout. If it lasts only a few months, then Singler would do quite well for himself in the hypothetical scenario just mentioned. But if he misses out on an entire season because of it, it might not be worth the wait.
Here’s another, more positive, way of looking at Duke’s changed roster next season: it’ll give Singler a chance to show what he can do in an up-tempo offense. Expect the Blue Devils to lift that pace considerably next season when they hand Irving the keys to the offense.
In this scenario, Singler gets to show NBA scouts his ability to run the floor and score in transition.
The cynic in me almost left this off. I think players put far less stock in this sort of thing than the fans who desperately want them to stay one more season. Still, it’s a least something to consider. Should Singler return, Duke would be considered the odds-on favorite to win the title again in 2011. If that happens, it may not make Singler any more money, but at the least he’d never have to pay for dinner again in Durham.
I think he should stay cause they will probably repeat. What do you think?
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