Always wondered whether Rashaad could make it to the big leagues. My sense was that the answer was no, but then he got invited to the Knicks' summer camp back in 2009. Obviously, the pro scouts were intrigued by Singleton's upside.
Given his footwork problems and his seeming lack of desire, I wasn't surprised that Rashaad didn't stick with New York. Add to that his poor shooting form (he shot 25 percent from the free throw line during the Dawgs' 2005/2006 season and just 33 percent in 2006/2007), and I felt that his best bet was to be content with playing internationally.
Well, I'm starting to wonder again. He is fairly athletic, a legitimate 7-feet, and has a solid muscular build (fans may remember that he went from 210 to 250 while at UGA, and became the team weight-lifting leader). He is still young, having just turned 25 in May. To top things off, Singleton has apparently made a marked improvement in his shooting touch.
Singleton shot 73 percent from the free throw line in game earlier this year, completing a stat sheet of 25 points, 12 boards and 6 blocks in the Japanese League. Can Rashaad realize his potential and make it to the NBA? You might think that the answer is still, no, but then again, you need look no farther than the Atlanta Hawks' roster from last year to conclude that the answer is instead a definite maybe.
Jason Collins is the same size as Rashaad, being 7-feet and 255 pounds. Collins averaged just 1 point, 1 rebound, 0 assists and 0 blocked shots in 10 minutes per night for the Hawks this past season, shooting a paltry 40 percent from the field and a miserable 46 percent from the line. You would think that kind of production would have him on his way out of the NBA. Not hardly. Collins has had an 11-year career in the League, and he just signed a free agent contract with the Boston Celtics.
The Hawks signed another back-up center in February 2012, being 6' 11" 265-pound Erick Dampier. Dampier joined the squad and posted averages of 0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0 assists in 5 1/2 minutes per game, shooting 12 percent from the field. Admittedly, Dampier is nearing the end of his career, but my point is that Rashaad could hardly do worse. Shucks, how do you even shoot 12 percent when most of your attempts are right under the bucket?
A quick look at the rosters of the Hawks' competitors and the production of guys like,
Joel Przybilla, Milwaukee (2 points and 5 boards);
Jamaal Magloire, Toronto (1 point, 3 rebounds on 38 percent shooting);
Cole Aldrich, OKC (2 points, 2 boards in 7 minutes per game);
Solomon Alibi, Toronto (2 points and 3 boards last season, and just 0 points and 1 board per game, with 20 percent shooting from the field his rookie season);
Tony Battie, Philadelphia (1 point and 2 rebounds on 37 percent shooting);
Eddie Curry, Miami (2 points and 1 rebound); and,
Desagana Diop, Charlotte (1 point, 3 boards on 35 percent from the floor);
shows that if you are big enough to get even a couple of points and rebounds and body up on the opposing team's center, there can be a place for you in the NBA.
Rashaad looks the part, and if he can hit free throws consistently now, maybe the Knicks or even the Hawks should invite him to camp.