The Indiana Pacers have been searching for some wing help after losing Lance Stephenson in free agency and Paul George to a broken leg while playing for Team USA. Chris Singleton was a player that the Pacers have had their eye on for about a month now, even before the George injury occurred. Indiana finally reached a deal that will bring Singleton to camp, and allow him to compete with other wing players to try and make the roster.
There will be tough competition between players like Adonis Thomas, C.J. Fair, and Chris Singleton for one of the final roster spots that the Pacers have available. Singleton obviously has the advantage on the other two players, due to having more experience at the NBA level and fitting the Pacers’ system a bit more. He isn’t going to be a player that goes off for 20 points, but he is a very good defensive player and plays with a lot of heart and effort.
So what does this signing mean for the Pacers and the outlook of their upcoming season?
Quite simply, they are looking to bring in another small forward that can have some sort of role on the roster. At this point in time they are looking at starting Chris Copeland, Solomon Hill, Damjan Rudez, or C.J. Miles at small forward, and there are issues with all of them. Copeland would likely be the most needed fit in the lineup for scoring, while Hill and Rudez seem to be too young to be ready to step into that role. As for Miles, the Pacers signed him to be a shooting guard and would be majorly undersized if they played him at the three.
Singleton played in just 25 games last season with the Wizards off of the bench, averaging 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per game. He isn’t the player that the Pacers have brought in to start at small forward, but they do view him as being a hard working, quality backup to whoever they decide to start. At 6’9″ and 228 pounds, he could also see some time in smaller lineups as a backup power forward, although that wouldn’t be as likely.
This is an interesting move for the Pacers to make, especially because he isn’t the scoring punch that many were expecting the team to look at acquiring. He is a solid all-around player in every other aspect, but his scoring leaves quite a bit to be desired. It’s possible that the Pacers are signing him to a camp deal just to push other players that they would like to have on the roster more, but their interest in him prior to the George injury makes him an intriguing player to watch.
Larry Bird has a knack for seeing potential in a player that is overlooked by the majority of others. Hopefully he is seeing something in Singleton that others have not seen and that he was not able to show in limited time with Washington. The Pacers do have a very competitive camp on the horizon, and perhaps Singleton will be the guy that shows up and proves his worth to make the final roster.