Call off the search. Chris Singleton resurfaced Saturday night in of all places San Antonio.
After receiving only 24 minutes of action during the entire month of January and the first game of February combined, Singleton played 20 minutes in the Wizards' 96-86 loss to the Spurs. They were rather effective minutes at that with 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting with four rebounds and three steals, mostly coming during Washington's second half rally.
Outside of the shooting percentage, the performance itself raised no eyebrows. During the trying opening weeks of the season, Singleton and Martell Webster arguably were Washington's most consistent players. Even when serving as an undersized power forward, as the 6-foot-8 Singleton did primarily against the Spurs, the second-year player's energy largely served as a decent countermeasure.
Then Singleton disappeared from the rotation, Jan Vesely as well. Sure, it has been clear since before training camp that when fully healthy the Wizards had more bodies than frontcourt minutes available. That explains some recent sitting, but Singleton's minutes erosion began before all injured parties returned. After starting all 66 games as a rookie, the former Florida State star currently has 17 DNP's this season. Over the previous 23 games, he scored 10 points.
So, with three home games coming up this week, does Saturday's run indicate a change in Randy Wittman's rotation? Perhaps, but let's consider the circumstances.
*Trevor Booker, who also provides high-energy from the combo forward position, joined rookie Bradley Beal on the sideline with a sore left wrist.
*Tim Duncan's in-game knee and ankle injury kept the future Hall of Famer off the court for the entire second half. In his place, the Spurs primarily used Matt Bonner, a perimeter forward who lacks the game muscle or size to overwhelm Singleton.
*Down 51-24 at halftime, Wittman used Singleton as part of an up-tempo unit with John Wall. That unit delivered a 30-9 run. Singleton earned those minutes, including all 12 in the fourth quarter, but does he receive the invite if Booker plays or if the Spurs have their usual imposing size inside.
*With Martell Webster's shooting touch needed on the court and Trevor Ariza's defensive prowess, no significant minutes exist at the small forward spot.
With everyone back and signs of positivity after a brutal start to the season, Wittman absolutely needed to use his best options. Until Saturday, Singleton (nor Vesely) clearly was not among them.
Now after a four-game skid, even those truly faint playoff hopes have receded as Washington fell into a tie with Charlotte for the NBA's worst record. With 36 games remaining, it will be interesting if a potential change in priority - future planning over current playing - changes how Singleton fits into the rotation.