Kyle Singler, Oklahoma City Thunder
On the first day negotiations between teams and free agents was allowed this past offseason, it was announced that the Oklahoma City Thunder had agreed to a five-year extension with Kyle Singler worth approximately $24 million.
There were far more expensive contracts handed out this past summer. However, there were no deals that were longer, as five years is the maximum number of years allowable under the current collective bargaining agreement. Still, with the salary cap set to spike, this deal certainly won’t break the bank in Oklahoma City. Singler will account for only a fraction of their cap going forward.
The young forward out of Duke had played decently over his first three seasons in the NBA, so OKC was assuming that they would lock up a serviceable, reliable rotation player for the long-term at a fair price.
However, the issue in Oklahoma City is that Singler has been anything but reliable. In fact, Singler is struggling mightily. The numbers are downright right scary. He’s not just having a rough season, Singler is enduring a historically bad season.
Over the 292 minutes he’s played during the 2015-16 campaign, he is shooting just 29.2 percent from the floor, 22.2 percent from three-point territory and 50 percent from the free-throw line. Consider this: Per Basketball-Reference.com, Singler is on pace to become the first NBA player in 55 years to average over 10 minutes per game, yet shoot below 30 percent from the floor and post a True Shooting Percentage south of 37 percent. He also may become the first qualifying player in NBA history to ever shoot below 24 percent from three-point territory and below 30 percent from the field in the same season.
His assist to turnover ratio sits at 6:15, which means he has 2.5 times as many turnovers as assists.
His PER right now sits at at roughly 2.2, which is an unbelievably low figure since the league average is 15. Per Basketball-Reference.com, never before has an NBA player finished a season with a PER below 3 when they appeared in at least half of their team’s games and averaged at least 10 minutes per game.
His individual Offensive Rating (an estimate of points produced per 100 possessions) is just 75. No other Thunder rotation player has an offensive rating below 97.
Singler’s On/Off splits are similarly remarkable. The Thunder are averaging 114.2 points per 100 possessions when he is on the bench. That number drops all the way down to down to 101.2 points per 100 possessions when Singler is in the game.
Maybe this is just an awful slump that Singler will bust out of in the second half of the season. The Thunder have to hope so.
Although Singler will “only” make in the neighborhood of $5 million per season, and the cap is set to jump, the Thunder will still obviously need all the salary space they can muster. As we know, Kevin Durant will be an free agent this upcoming summer. Then, in July of 2017, both Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka will hit the open market. Will that $24 million committed to Singler come back to bite OKC?
– Tommy Beer