Nets

2011 NBA Mock Draft: Duke's Kyle Singler to Nets?

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By Cory Bernstein

Why we want him: Singler is a proven winner who played amazing in college. Year after year, guys like Carlos Boozer dominate in college, and then do the same in the pros. It wouldn't shock me if Singler fit this mold, bringing his 16.9 points and 6.2 rebounds a game to the bigtime ranks. He is a clear proven winner from Duke, leading the Blue Devils to a national title just a season ago.

Singler is 6'9, but quick for a small forward. He is a good dribbler for a guy his size, and has a good jump shot. Like many Duke players, Singler is a fundamentally sound player, with no glaring weakness. He is not the best athlete, but has a Mike Miller-esque knack for being a solid rebounder. The Nets need guys who can come to Newark this fall and play basketball, and Singler can do that. He will immediately help the Nets play small forward. He would be better than Travis Outlaw, and compliment Damion James well, who is not as good offensively. Together, the Nets would have two young, high IQ small forwards who really know the game of basketball well.

Why we don't: Singler is 23, making him one of the older players that will be in this year's draft. This is a big of a problem, because it means Singler has like four years left until he is considered an middle aged NBA player. Although Singler is a very fundamentally good player, he is a bad athlete and by proxy is not a good defender. After being subjected to Outlaw and Stephen Graham this year, saying that it would be painstaking to have another poor defender getting minutes at small forward would be an understatement. He is known as a good three point shooter, but Singler shot thirty two percent from three last year, which is horrible.

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One has to worry that Singler had a senior year that was much worse than his junior year, scoring less points, grabbing less rebounds, and having a much worse three point percentage than his junior year. Last year, Singler would have probably been a first round pick, and he is going to be a second round pick in a draft that is universally being described as weaker than the '10 class.

Final Verdict: Kyle Singler is a winner with some great numbers in college. But, at 23 years old, I'm worried he may have already peaked as a basketball player. This sounds ridiculous, but Singler really struggled last year in comparison to what he was doing during Duke's title run. Also, the eye test is against Singler. Look at Singler's picture above, and then look at a picture of a small forward like LeBron James. Immediately, someone who had never seen Singler before would say "The ginger guy would get destroyed by LeBron". With that said, Singler possesses value in the second round. He was a star in college, and could become a very solid role player in the pros. There is not much more value you could get with the 36th pick in the weakest NBA Draft of all time.

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