When Virginia’s Sean Singletary was selected in the NBA Draft’s second round by Sacramento, Cavalier fans immediately turned their attention to the star guard’s future and his situation with the Kings. Do they have a point guard? Does he fit the style of play? The Sabre caught up with Sacramento Bee NBA writer Scott Howard-Cooper to talk about Singletary and what things look like for him in Sacramento.
Beno Udrih has agreed to re-sign with the Kings. How does that affect Sean Singletary?
I don’t think it will have a major impact because Sean was not a strong candidate to step right in as the starting point guard. If Udrih had signed elsewhere, the Kings would have gone for another veteran via free agency or trade. Realistically, Singletary will be competing for a job as the back-up point guard.
On the East Coast, we don’t see as many Kings games as some people. What does Reggie Theus like out of his point guards on offense?
Theus will undoubtedly be emphasizing two major points this season: defense and making the right decisions. That doesn’t make him different than a lot of coaches, except that the Kings were so bad on defense last season that it will get even more attention than usual. And, they were a team that too often did foolish things on the court. Not always the point guard, whether Mike Bibby or Beno Udrih, but the point guard has to set the tone. Reggie handled the ball a lot when he was in the NBA. He knows what the position is all about.
There were some draft expert concerns about Singletary’s height and who he would guard on the NBA level. How does a player like Singletary fit into the Kings’ defensive style?
Size is definitely an issue. But the one thing I heard from several people with the Kings is how Singletary has long arms, which means he’ll deflect or intercept more balls than someone else at 6-0. Plus, the experience factor. Four years at a major school in a major conference should give him an advantage over a lot of guys coming into the NBA after one or two seasons of college. That could pay off for him in knowing how to defend.
What do you perceive will be Singletary’s biggest challenges in making the roster? Earning playing time?
A lot will depend on whether the Kings add another point guard. There obviously is not a great success rate for players picked midway through the second round, but this is a good place and a good time for a point guard to get a chance. It’s a major position of need. If he struggles with his shot, as the numbers indicate he did in college, that will be a major setback. If he distributes and gets the ball to the right places, if he runs the team in a sound way, if he defends – those will be major positives.
Singletary played all out all the time here at Virginia. Do you think the Kings fans will embrace that style even as he makes rookie mistakes?
They will love that all-out style. It’s what fans in any city want to see. But it’s especially what fans here want to see because the Kings are so much a part of the fabric of the area. They’re not just a professional sports team to the people of Sacramento. More like part of the community. People have grown frustrated in recent years and have become more demanding. But they also understand rookie mistakes – as long as the same mistakes don’t happen month after month. Also, underdogs do very well here. Some guys near the end of the bench get a lot of attention on talk radio, e-mails to writers, etc. I think he will quickly develop a fan base.
Would Singletary be a summer league candidate? If so, what will the Kings look for out of Singletary and those players?
The Kings have not released a roster for summer league (update: The Sacramento Bee’s Kings Blog has the roster up now), but I’m sure he will be there, barring some unknown pressing commitment. Reggie Theus wants to get him a lot of playing time there. I suspect he will be the starting point guard.
Make sure to keep up with Singletary and the Kings on The Sacramento Bee’s Kings Blog.