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NBA Toronto Raptors E.J. Singler

Raptors Final Roster Spot Should Belong To 905 Wing E.J. Singler

It isn’t going to be handed to him on a silver platter, but the Toronto Raptors only open roster spot should belong to Mississauga Raptors 905 wing E.J. Singler. He earned it in Summer League with Toronto and during his time in Mississauga last season.

“It was a blessing really,” Singler told Pro Bball Report about his time with the 905. “I came in with 10 or 12 games left and was able to (be accepted) with open arms and play a lot and show the Raptors organization what I could do on the floor. It gave me the opportunity to then go play Summer League with the Raptors. It gave me an opportunity to come to training camp and it’s just a blast to be able to be here with such a great organization and fight for that last spot.”

A four year player with Oregon, the now 26-year-old was a proven shooter in college who has gotten better during his time in the NBA Development League. Two years ago with the Idaho Stampede, Singler shot 47.5 percent from three-point range on 5.5 attempts per game. Last year with the 905, he again shot 47.5 percent from three on 6.1 attempts a game. Then this past summer in Las Vegas, he shot 41.2 percent from three-point range with Toronto. His ability to hit from anywhere on the court is well established. Besides, a very young Raptors team certainly doesn’t need another player that needs to play with the 905 to get up to speed.

Plus, there is a lot more to Singler’s game than just hitting the outside jumper. With the 905 he was the leading +/- player by a wide margin at +9.2 points as he quarterbacked both the offense and the defense in a late season surge by the Raptors D-League squad. He filled the stats sheet with 14.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists on 48 percent shooting from the field.

The 6’6 Singler has been working hard at expanding his game since college.

“With the 905 last season I was able to come in and be a leader and show that I could do different things on the floor,” Singler said. “I’ll do anything on the basketball floor to win.”

E.J. is the younger brother of Thunder forward Kyle Singler and he credits playing against his brother for his ability to be effective against bigger players.

“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.

“I’ve played the four/five position in college. 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.”

Singler’s willingness to battle at both ends of the court was evident in Mississauga last season and it’s what can win him a job from Raptors head coach Dwane Casey in a training camp loaded with three-point shooters vying for the final roster spot. Also, it would send a very strong positive message to 905 players that success at this level gets noticed and rewarded.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 


 

NBA D-League MIssissauga Raptors 905 E.J. Singler

Raptors E.J. Singler Stands Out At NBA Summer League

The Toronto Raptors NBA Summer League opener against the Kings was a 88-47 blowout by a tough Raptors squad featuring an entire starting lineup of players already under contract, but that’s not the point of these games. Coaches and managers want to see what skills players can bring to the court against opposition in a real game setting and Raptors 905 forward E.J. Singler has shown he has NBA three-point range and accuracy.

“I am kind of labeled as a three-point shooter,” Singler said. “I think (teams) know I can shoot, but they kind of want to see what else I can do.”

In 17.6 minutes against the Kings, Singler shot 4-6 from three-point range and scored 12 points confirming his NBA D-League numbers were no fluke. He had shot 47.5 percent from three-point range in his first NBA D-League season with the Stampede. Last year he again shot 47.5 percent from three-point range with the Raptors 905.

However, Singler showed more than just shooting with the 905 last season. He quickly became a team leader on the court and a boxscore stats stuffer. The 6’6 forward averaged 14.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists with the Raptors D-League affiliate.

“I am trying to expand my game,” Singler explained. “Use my ball handling a little bit better coming off screens and just trying to be more aggressive.

“I play that three-four position and just try to make plays at both ends of the court.”

Singler is an interesting prospect for Toronto. The Raptors are arguably thin at the small forward spot and could use an injection of three-point shooting. At 26-years-old, Singler wouldn’t be your typical NBA rookie either. If he can show the continuing development of his game beyond just being a three-point threat, just maybe he could stick with the Raptors or another NBA team in need of more shooting for the upcoming season.

 

 

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 



 

NBA D-League Raptors 905 E.J. Singler

E.J. Singler Could Be The Raptors Missing Wing

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.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.