2011 NBA Draft Combine Coverage: Thunder Really Likes Kyle Singler? - May 21
At the 2011 NBA Draft Combine Thursday in Chicago, almost all of the players fielded questions about which teams they met with and worked out for. Most of the answers were pretty standard, but a couple responses stood out.
Like this one from former Duke Blue Devil forward Kyle Singler.
"I had three different meetings yesterday: Detroit, Oklahoma City and Memphis, and Oklahoma City's pretty interested," Singler confidently said to me.
If you check out our latest 2011 NBA Mock Draft, you'll coincidentally see we had Singler going to... yes, the THUNDER!
A team without a glaring need, Oklahoma City could use a true small forward to back up Kevin Durant. Kyle should be able to adequately fulfill that role due to his ability to shoot the ball, experience and work ethic without affecting Oklahoma City's young chemistry.
The 6-9 native of Medford, Ore. has not worked out with any teams yet, but he is scheduled with the San Antonio Spurs. He was also scheduled to meet with six league teams this week at the Combine. Singler sharpened his skills last summer with the USA Select Team, and said that the toughest guy he went against in camp was Kevin Durant (praising his "future teammate?") as the best player in camp.
Singler also played the four in college, and is among the best offensive rebounders in Duke history. His draft stock, and his college basketball career, peaked as a junior when he averaged 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds while leading Duke to the NCAA Championship, its second-straight ACC Tournament title, and a 35-5 record overall. He earned first team All-ACC accolades as well as NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player and ACC MVP honors as a junior.
Singler underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee at the Duke University Medical Center last summer, fully recovering to have a very solid, but somewhat unspectactular senior season which caused his stock to drop a bit. So what is the Thunder, or any team that is, to draft him getting?
"A solid player, well-rounded, can do a lot of things, does the small things, and I'm a winner," he said when I asked what his best selling points are.
And conversely, what does Singler need to show to increase his draft stock?
"I probably have to show my athleticism a little more and get a little bigger," he responded.