Kyle Singler will be in a Thunder uniform for a very long time. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Singler has signed a 5 year, $25 million extension.
Couldn’t be more proud to represent the @okcthunder. I'm excited & dedicated to helping bring a ship to the best fans in the NBA. #Thunderup— Kyle Singler (@KyleSingler) July 2, 2015
Singler is entering his fourth year in the NBA. In 26 games for the Thunder, he averaged 3.7 points per game in 17 minutes. Most disturbingly, Singler shot 29% from inside the arc. However, Singler has never shot below 35% from three in his career, and committed few strategic mistakes last season. Sam Presti had very positive words for Singler in an interview with Darnell Mayberry back in May:
"With regards to Singler, finding a player in free agency that can shoot close to 40% from the three point line over the course of a season, embrace various roles, and stand as one of your more fundamental players at 6-9 is unlikely when over the cap and tax. Therefore, we are hopeful we will be able to keep working with him in the future."
The signing of Singler virtually guarantees that the Thunder will have to make a trade if they are to sign any more serious talent in this year's free agency. The only remaining free spot on the roster is reserved for Enes Kanter, who is very likely to sign an extension with Oklahoma City.
It also means that the roster is bound to look very similar to the one that ended last year's campaign. Literally the only off-season movement so far has been a quiet trade of Jeremy Lamb, along with the drafting of Cameron Payne at pick #14.
The only real mystery in the situation right now surrounds Josh Huestis. Huestis was promised a roster spot when the Thunder drafted him at the tail end of the first round in 2014. In the meantime, Huestis played for the Oklahoma City Blue of the D-League. Reportedly, Huestis is willing to spend all of 2014-15 on the Blue, but will likely take up a roster spot on the Thunder in 2016.
Personally, I think it's silly to commit such long-term money to somebody whom can barely make the rotation at what should be the peak of his career. I mean, we're going to be paying a 31 year old Kyle Singler 5 Million? Also, Singler is a player whom needs shots created for him. I have a hard time envisioning Singler getting the shots he needs with the less offensively talented bench rotation. Lastly, how will OKC fit Singler in next to Waiters, Morrow, and Collison? Or even Roberson? All four of the aforementioned players will be paid less money than Singler next year. And yet, I feel all four bring something much more to the table, and should get minutes over Singler.
Still, Singler is nice KD insurance, and someone who can defend the small forward position much better than Waiters or Morrow. There's definitely no egregiously negative aspect to bringing Singler back. I'm just skeptical as to how well Singler will fit into the rotation, and how his bigger salary will affect this small market team in the years to come.
Then again, with the salary cap getting bigger and bigger, $5 million could be small peanuts in 2020.