Williams: If Wiz stay healthy, they're a playoff team
Chris Singleton sees the writing on the wall: Playing time won’t be easy to come by –- again –- for the third-year player.
“We have a lot of people,” he said after mini-camp earlier this week. “We’re loaded at the three (and) four. I’m just trying to get in the rotation.”
The Wizards drafted two forwards, Otto Porter and Glen Rice, to add to a glut. Both are better suited to play at small forward and that means Singleton, who at 6-8 is known more for his defense, has to carve out his niche quickly.
It starts with being able to knock down the mid-range jump shot. The Wizards were the NBA’s lowest-scoring team last season at 93.2 points in part because they didn't have an option at power forward to play with John Wall in the pick-and-roll.
Last season, when Singleton averaged just 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds, he fell behind Trevor Booker in coach Randy Wittman’s rotation. His minutes were sporadic as were Vesely's. Singleton didn't appear in 25 games.
He has to perform better in his third season if he wants the Wizards to pick up his contract option for a fourth. But he seems content if that doesn't happen that he’ll catch on somewhere.
“I always feel pressure. I control my situation, but I don’t control my situation. My play should show that they should pick me up,” he said. “I’m going out there fighting for other teams (to sign me) if they don’t. I’m just going to play my best.”
The key to his success will be determined by his jump shot. He was nerve-wracked last season as he tried to make an immediate impact so he could stay on the court. That backfired.
“Sometimes I felt like it was pressure,” Singleton said as he tried to explain his drop-off in accuracy to 38.2% field-goal shooting, including 19.4% from three-point range. “When I get in the game sometimes for little spurts I just go out there and try to make my mark real fast…sometimes I rushed it.”
Singleton is among the senior members from the Wizards who are on the summer league roster. Vesely, who is 6-11 but offensively much more underdeveloped, is the other. The rest are the rookies or free agents trying to latch on or re-enter the NBA. They play their first game Saturday in Las Vegas vs. the Golden State Warriors (CSN, 4 p.m. ET, replay 7).
“Just talking on defense. Leadership,” Singleton said of what he’ll bring to his summer league teammates. “I don’t think we have that one player that’s holding everybody together. Just trying to go out there and do that. Just help the young guys and make the transition easier if they do make the team.”