Chris Singleton was the most NBA-ready of the Wizards' three draft picks last season. It didn't mean he was ready for the grind of the NBA.
The rookie small forward went on to play in 66 games, tied for the most on the roster. Most nights, he got taught lessons from the NBA's best scorers. He averaged 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 34.6 percent from 3-point range. But hopefully, there's a benefit to the punishment in his second season, which begins this week with minicamp and Las Vegas summer league.
"It was a good thing and a bad thing [to play so much]," Singleton said. "Personally, I didn't get a chance to see how guys played and get a feel for the game. I just had to go out and play, and just do the best I can. But now, I've basically played everybody in the league that's notable, I guess, and I think I'm ready."
Of course, the Wizards now have a projected starter in Trevor Ariza that will force Singleton to the bench. Wizards coach Randy Wittman worried about the lack of that kind of pressure last year and how it affected Singleton's effort.
"It's got to become a situation where your playing time is rewarded, and it's not just, 'Because I'm a young guy, I know I'm going to play,'?" Wittman said. "It's now a situation which is always good. This isn't a bad situation for Chris or any of our young guys."
How has Singleton responded so far? Wittman said Tuesday that Singleton, "had the best practice I've seen him have since he's been here."
- Craig Stouffer