There's a lot to like about Chris Singleton. He plays his heart out every night, is extremely athletic, a willing defender and hits more than a third of his three-pointers last year. His hustle and toughness was a stark contrast to the laid-back style of franchise fixtures like Andray Blatche, Javale McGee and Nick Young.
Unfortunately, effort can only carry a player so far. Singleton is one of the least skilled offensive players in recent memory, and unless he improves dramatically as a finisher, ball handler or shooter, he's likely to lose his spot in the rotation to Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster.
Positives to Build On: Did I mention that he plays hard? Singleton is elite in terms of stuffing the box score with his defensive performance, with high rates of blocks, steals and charges drawn, all while guarding the opposing team's best players night in and night out as a rookie. Singleton wasn't quite the stopper Washington hoped for, but he was at the very least solid at a point in his career during which most players struggle.
Singleton also shot reasonably well from behind the line and knows his limitations on offense. It'd be great if he could do more with the ball, but as long as his three-point shot is accurate enough for defenders to respect it, he won't completely kill the Wizards' offense, even if he's not contributing much to it.
Areas to Improve: Anything that involves dribbling, passing or scoring. Singleton shot poorly from everywhere last year, but his inability to finish at the basket is especially disappointing. While he never had a track record as a great finisher in college, players as athletic as Singleton -- who you can make a legitimate case is one of the 15 or so most athletic small forwards in the league -- are usually excellent around the basket. Singleton's problem is mainly a lack of coordination due to his long limbs and relatively thin frame, though, so while it's not inconceivable that he'll improve, it's going to require a lot of work on his part.
Defensively, Singleton could move his feet better, foul less and do a better job of using his length to bother opponents' shots in isolation situations. That said, these are fairly minor things that players typically pick up with experience, so there's a lot of cause for optimism as far as his development as a stopper.
Projected Spot in the Rotation: Ariza and to a lesser extent Webster are better players than Singleton, so it's unlikely he plays more than 10 minutes a night this year.
Outlook: Not pretty. He'll be a good practice player due to his hustle and he could have a nice career as a James Posey type if he ever improves as a shooter and scorer, but at the end of the day, he just doesn't produce enough on offense to warrant a major role on an NBA team. If he gets the minutes and improves as a shooter, he could be a 10 and 6 type of player this year, but even that probably won't be enough for him to take minutes away from Ariza and Webster.
What are your projected statistics for Chris Singleton this year? What are your expectations for him?