Thunder forward Kyle Singler’s younger brother finished off the NBA D-League season with the Raptors 905 and made a huge impact over the team’s final 10 games. Not surprisingly, he earned himself a spot on the Raptors Summer League team and if president and general manager Masai Ujiri can create a roster spot, the 26-year-old E.J. Singler could be the Raptors missing wing.
Singler was an older undrafted senior out of Oregon in 2013, so not much was widely known about him. The scouting report on E.J. coming out of college was:
E.J. Singler — Oregon — Senior wing: Through four years with the Ducks he proved to be a very smart, team oriented player that could really shoot the ball. He lacks NBA level strength and athleticism, but makes up for that with a strong basketball IQ.
In the NBA D-League, the younger 6’6 Singler has been proving he’s all of that and more. Plus, he is a far better shooter than his 6’8 brother (who isn’t bad.)
“Oh I’m way better (than Kyle),” E.J. told Pro Bball Report at the end of the 905 season. “That’s not even a question.
“We had a lot of good players in Idaho (Stampede), so I didn’t really have as much opportunity to play and showcase in Idaho and I was really grateful for the trade (to the 905) so I could showcase what I had and this offense here really showcased the positive things I could do on a basketball court.
“They gave me an opportunity here and I was really grateful for that.”
The Raptors 905 didn’t pick up E.J. on hope, he came with a D-League track record from his first season in Idaho when he shot 47.5 percent from three-point range on 5.5 attempts to score 14.1 points and grab 4.7 rebounds over 22 games. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a focus of the Stampede in his second season and his minutes were cut back, but that’s just how it goes in the D-League.
However, Singler exploded when given the freedom and opportunity to play in Mississauga as he reaffirmed his 47.5 percent shooting from deep on over 6 three-ball attempts per game and scored 14.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and handed out 3.4 assists with the Raptors 905. To say he was impressive would be an understatement.
E.J. looked good in the fast paced D-League and he had a surprising ability to bang in the paint and hold his own on defense.
“I’ve played the four/five position in college,” Singler said. “I’ve had to play against bigger guys and I’ve played against my brother too who’s a lot bigger than me, so I’m used to it. I like to battle. I like to play hard. I like to be down low with the big guys. Our team defense was really good this year at the end of the season.”
The NBA D-League and NBA Summer League are a long ways from the NBA, but one thing that can translate is shooting and effort. E.J. Singler has both and he’s a player to watch this summer.