Best defender in the 2011 draft? That would be 6-foot-9, Chris Singleton. The junior forward out of Florida State University is regarded by many as the best one-on-one defender in the entire draft. This season, Singleton posted a solid 13 ppg/ 6.8 rpg/ 1.5 bpg/ 1.2 bpg.
Singleton is a natural small-forward, but can also play the 4 in a small-ball lineup. He has an excellent wingspan of 7 feet and 1 inch, as well as a standing reach of 8′ 7.5″. The rest of his measurements are posted below via DraftExpress.com.
Singleton was the ACC Defensive player of the year in 2010 and made ACC All-Defensive team in both 2010 and 2011.
Singleton is projected to go in the mid teens and the Knicks have reportedly shown interest. In fact, in a recent New York Post article, it was reported that people in the organization feel that Singleton could be a potential “Lebron stopper”. Also of note, is the fact that Singleton is represented by Happy Walters, the agent who represents both Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawne Williams.
Scouting Report and Video Via DraftExpress: Chris Singleton is an athletic forward who is very good in transition because of his above average vertical and athleticism, at times however he settles for jumpers. Singleton has good instincts when cutting and slashing off the ball in the half court but as trouble finishing occasionally. Also, as highlighted in the video below, Singleton is adept on offense in post up situations where he is very patient and uses his length to beat his defender.
Singleton does not have very good ball handling skills and because of this, he can not create his own shot off the dribble. While his shooting has improved over his sophomore season it is still very unreliable and will go a long way to determine his success at the next level.
Undoubtedly, the best part of Singleton’s game is his defense. His physical tools along with his defensive instincts make him a lock down defender. This part of his game is sure to translate over to the next level. He is also able to guard any position from the 1-4. What makes Singleton so impressive on defense is that he likes to play defense and never shies away from the challenge. Singleton is also a good rebounder for his position.
Judging The Fit: From all that I have seen and read about Chris Singleton, I believe that he can be Wilson Chandler 2.0 for the Knicks. Like Wilson, Singleton has a great body for the next level and thrives in transition while being a shaky shooter. In the system that the Knicks run, Chandler was able to improve each year and I also believe that Singleton would benefit from being in a system that plays to his strengths.
On the defensive end, what Singleton brings to the table is something the Knicks desperately need, a potential lockdown defender. Notoriously bad defensive teams, like the Knicks, need as many good defensive players as they can get. However, Singleton may not be the right fit for the Knicks because they are already set at the 3 and 4 positions with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.
It is important to remember that the Knicks desperately need a center, and using a draft pick on a position where they are already strong may not be a good choice considering the other voids that exist on the roster and the lack of draft picks in the future.
The Verdict: Drafting Singleton would not fit a need position wise, but does give the Knicks an above average defender, something that they severely lack.
However, given the voids on the roster that need to be filled, unless Singleton is “The Best Player Available”, I do not believe it would be the right pick to draft Singleton. I give Singleton a 5% chance of being the selection at 17.