As the draft nears, I look at Chris Singleton, a player who had a lot of buzz on the Dream Shake for a while before fading out somewhat recently. Singleton, a top defender from Florida State, would make a lot of sense for the Rockets if he's available when they pick 14th or 23rd.
- Very good athlete
- Extremely long for a wing
- Best defender in the class
- Versatile; can guard shooting guards, small forwards, and power forwards
- Has developed a post game in recent years
- Settles for jumper far too often
- Streaky from outside
- Struggles to finish at the rim, especially in traffic
- Generally uncoordinated offensively
After suffering through the Trevor Ariza era for one year, the last person Rockets fans want to hear is that their draft selection is an uncoordinated offensive player who settles for outside shots too often and struggles to finish at the rim. However, for a number of reasons, Chris Singleton would be a tremendous fit for the Rockets and their best option with the 14th pick if Kawhi Leonard is gone by that time.
On a team with Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Courtney Lee and potentially Terrence Williams entrenched on the wings, it is difficult to imagine the Rockets selecting another small forward with their selection. However, if they are serious about winning, they must concentrate on drafting the best talent available and Singleton is likely to be that top talent.
A fierce defender, Singleton would help lock up the long, scoring forwards that so victimized the Rockets a
fter Shane Battier's departure. On a team that lacks a shot-blocking force in the middle and will likely struggle to fill that void this summer, strong perimeter defense will be essential if the Rockets want to reestablish themselves as a top defensive squad. While
Chuck Hayes is a tremendous post defender, when he is forced to cut off penetration, his lack of size and lift is exposed and the Rockets defense looks like Swiss cheese.
For this reason, adding a player that will likely be the draft's top perimeter defender would be a blessing to the Rockets. Playing alongside offensive-minded players in Luis Scola and Kevin Martin, Singleton's offensive inadequacies could be minimized and he can thrive in a role Ariza never fully embraced—an off-ball slasher and shooter who doesn't create offense but can feed off others.
Daryl Morey often preaches about the importance of being a top ten offensive and defensive squad, and Singleton can help the Rockets, who are comfortably a top ten offense, to regain their status as an elite defense.