The Detroit Pistons might be disappointed, but Kyle Singler made the right move by remaining overseas.
The Pistons selected Singler as the 33rd overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft, but the 23-year-old power forward joined Spanish team Alicante Lucentum during the NBA lockout from July through December before choosing to stay in Spain versus joining the Pistons after the work stoppage lifted. Last week Singler signed with Euroleague power Real Madrid replacing Rudy Fernandez, while Detroit was left to move on piecing their roster together.
“I haven’t talked to them very much, but when I decided to stay, I know they were a little disappointed,” Singler told the Associated Press. “But I wasn’t really focused on that. I was making a decision that was best for me.”
Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars won’t agree, but Singler executed both a wise basketball and business decision at the end of the day . Not only was Singler going to have to fight for a roster spot in training camp, but equally for playing time in Lawrence Frank’s rotation. He went from a non-guaranteed NBA situation to staring in the Spanish capital on a Real Madrid squad that is poised to win a Euroleague championship (Real Madrid is 7-2 in Group C Euroleague play). That’s an experience Singler would never get fighting for minutes in the league. This wasn’t about a rash short-term decision. For Singler, he’s investing in his basketball future and his stock is rising with each game. So while Detroit may own Singler’s draft rights, his game belongs to Real Madrid these days.
On Wednesday, the former Duke BlueDevil made his Euroleague debut starting for Real Madrid and finished with eight points in 24 minutes during the 101-83 home win over Partizan Belgrade.
With Alicante, Singler averaged 14.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 10 games. He also shot 44% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. Now he looks to continue his sound shooting for the rest of the season in Spain.
Detroit’s loss is Real Madrid’s gain with Singler.