Two weeks ago, on June 7th, the Portland Trail Blazers hosted a workout for a variety of NBA hopefuls including University of Oregon small forward, E.J. Singler. With the 2013 NBA draft just around the corner, the Blazers contacted Singler again on Tuesday and invited him back for a second workout.
Regarding the invitation and workout, Singler had this to say:
“I’m thinking it’s a good thing. If they want me back, they saw something that they liked and they wanted to see a little bit more. Just really happy I got the opportunity to come back and showcase my skills.”
– via Alex Shoemaker, Eugene Daily News
Singler is far from a first round pick, but Portland could be interested in snatching him up with the 39th, 40th, or 45th pick in the 2nd round. The Blazers are in need of some serious depth next season and may be looking to replace Luke Babbitt if (when) he leaves in free agency.
Singler has been criticized for his lack of size and athleticism to compete at the NBA level. At 6’5”, he is clearly not large enough to swing down to 4, but his agility and lateral movement leave something to be desired when guarding the 3. Though a star at Oregon, from an NBA standpoint he is pretty average all across the board.
It could be that Portland is not interested in drafting him at all, but instead may invite him to training camp, should he go undrafted (a very real possibility). In which case, the Blazers could sign him for next to nothing if they continue to like what they see this summer. Not a bad idea for a player with solid potential who is probably not NBA ready.
Either way, it’s clear that the Blazers have taken an interest in Singler. While I can’t say he’s a “must have,” I wouldn’t mind seeing a homegrown Oregonian in red and black. Realistically, 2nd round picks are rarely difference makers, but who knows? The Blazers must have seen something, so perhaps Singler could escape novelty and become a real contributor in Portland.