Draft prospect: Kyle Singler

The Spurs own the 29th pick in the June 23 draft, one of the lowest slots of the Tim Duncan era. This year’s draft pool is considered to be uncommonly shallow, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Spurs either deal the pick or select a future prospect to stash overseas. Over the next few weeks, the Courtside blog will profile selected players who could be wearing silver and black, should the Spurs elect to keep their pick.

Kyle Singler was a four-year starter for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, and there was a time when that line on the resume would have been enough to make him one of the more highly regarded prospects in any NBA draft. With the growing multitude of early-entry candidates and foreign additions to the draft pool, however,  being a four-year Dookie isn’t enough to earn lottery consideration anymore.

Still, Singler — a 6-foot-9 forward — could slip into the bottom of the first round, at which point the Spurs might be willing to take a flier on his blueblooded pedigree. Singler isn’t exactly an athletic wunderkind, isn’t much of a defender and won’t help the Spurs on the glass.

What Singler was in college is what he is projected to be in the NBA: A smart, solid role player who can knock down an open jumper. The Spurs, who had Singler in for a workout last month, could do worse at the end of the first round.

Singler averaged 16.2 points over his four-year career at Duke, peaking at 17.7 per game as a junior. His Duke background doesn’t hurt his stock, either. Generally speaking, players who do a four-year tour of duty under Coach K tend to hit the NBA with an ingrained sense of professionalism (see Shane Battier).

Singler’s draft stock probably would have been higher had he entered following the 2009-10 season, when he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in Indianapolis. He returned for his senior season, which was solid but unspectacular as compared to the rest of his collegiate career.

Though in no way, shape or form suited for an NBA frontcourt, Singler could provide the Spurs with depth at small forward, an area of need. As the draft winds to the end of the first round, there are worst ways to roll the dice than on a four-year Dookie.

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