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Thunder 2015-2016 Player Grades: Kyle Singler, singled out after disappointing first full season with OKC

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Singler's struggles continued in his first full season with Oklahoma City

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Full Name: Kyle Edward Singler

Contract Status: Signed July 9, 2015 to a five-year $25 Million Dollar deal. While Oklahoma City holds a player option for his final season in 2019-2020, Singler will earn five-million dollars annually per the duration of his contract.

Interesting Factoid: Singler was featured in former Beastie Boy icon Adam Yauch's documentary "Gunning for That #1 spot." The film chronicles eight future NBA players as they compete in the inaugural Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoop Classic from famed Rucker Park.

Player History:

  • Avenged 2006 State-Championship defeat to Kevin Love by winning 2007 OSAA 6A-State Title
  • 2007 McDonald's High School All-American (South Medford High, Oregon)
  • Four-Year starter at Duke University
  • 2010 NCAA Champion
  • 2010 Final Four Most Outstanding Player
  • 2011 NABC Second-Team All American
  • #33 selection 2011 NBA Draft (Detroit Pistons)
  • Played Overseas during 2011 NBA lockout for Real Madrid and CB Lucentum Alicante
  • Named to NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2013
  • Traded to Oklahoma City February 19, 2015
While Singler showcased great collegiate success and appeared destined to become a solid NBA role player with Detroit, his career has declined precipitously since being traded to Oklahoma City.

Singler's once solid line of 8.7 points and 3.5 rebounds on shooting percentages of 43/38/81 in 218 appearances with the Pistons has diminished to 3.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, and a meager 37/33/66 in 94 contests with the Thunder.

As a statistical drop-off was expected after leaving hapless Detroit for a competitive OKC squad, once the regular season ended, Singler found himself completely on the outs of the Thunder rotation. During Oklahoma City's torrid playoff run, Singler received eleven DNP-CD'S. This post-season, the former Duke star scored just four points in six appearances.

Superstar Kevin Durant's free-agent future hangs in the balance, so too does Singler's hopes of ever finding an established role in OKC.

Pre-Season/Early Season Expectations:

As aforementioned, Singler was signed by Oklahoma City to a multi-year deal ahead of last season. Team brass was pining for Kyle's range to rekindle, unfortunately this failed to materialize.

With a returning Durant and new Head Coach in Billy Donovan, Singler's early-season role was limited. When given action, Singler failed to impress, averaging 12.1 minutes, while shooting a dismal 23/20/50 over his first 12 contests.


Regular Season Grade: D

Following a painfully slow start, things only worsened for the once-promising 28-year-old. Garnering 10 DNP-CD's in OKC's next 27 games, Singler offered minuscule contributions of 2 points in 8.7 minutes per outing. Furthermore, the shooting woes continued as Kyle's 25 percent three-point and 48 percent free-throw percentages were a far cry from his Detroit days.

After enduring the most trying 41-game stretch of his life, Singler managed to finish the season in slightly improved fashion.

From February 8, to April 12 Singler began making minor contributions as a fringe rotation player. Upping his shooting line to 40/31/68, while averaging close to 17 minutes per, the former All-American seemed to settle in as the playoffs approached.


Playoff Grade: Incomplete

This is a generous offering for Singler, who was benched in nine of the Thunder's 14 playoff games. Following an opening round game-two loss to the over-matched Mavericks, Kyle's playoff minutes dried up like a raisin in the sun.

Most Notable Game/Moment:

January 20, 2016 vs. Charlotte Hornets

In 21 minutes of action, Singler returned to vintage form with an 11-point performance, including perfect 4-of-4 shooting overall, and 3-of-3 from deep.

Oklahoma City defeated Charlotte 109-95.

(the Singler magic happens from 3:50-3:57, with a little bonus thrown in at 4:21-4:31)


Future Expectations:


While Singler's 15'-16' disappointments are well chronicled, moving forward his contract has to be seen as a moderate value. At 6'8, with the ability to play multiple positions, Singler can be of great service if he finds his outside shot.

However, the difference between Kyle being a boon or bust is purely contingent upon his shooting from deep. On certain nights, Singler provides adequate defense. While dormant this season, the former marksman's "3-and-D" capabilities cannot be dismissed.

Sam Presti and the entire Thunder organization are gambling on Singler's upside, especially if Durant jumps ship.