Dean's List: 1 July, 2015
HEFTY DEAL REACHED WITH SINGLER
I’m sure the “New Math” was used to come up with the terms of Thunder free agent Kyle Singler’s new five-year extension worth nearly $25 million. But I bet my first reaction is the same as most Thunder fans: mind-boggling. That’s a lot of cash. Especially for Kyle Singler.
I have nothing against Singler and know he’s the type of player who brings more value to the organization than what one automatically assumes watching his steady-but-definitely-not-spectacular style of play.
The 27-year old Dukie brought the fundamentals he learned from Coach K to the Thunder and became a regular in the rotation coming off the bench after his arrival from Detroit in that three-team trade involving Reggie Jackson. He has averaged 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in three seasons in the NBA.
In 26 games with the Thunder, Singler averaged 17.5 minutes and started 18 games. But his averages were pedestrian: 3.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game. By far the most impressive element Singler should be able to deliver is his 40 percent 3-point shooting.
Singler shot .398 from distance last season and is an impressive .378 from three for his career. Pretty salty for a 6-8 player who also brings a healthy dose of versatility.
The Thunder is talking much more money with Enes Kanter in Chicago today. Neither can officially sign a contract until July 9 when the league's free-agent moratorium ends.
KEEP AN EYE ON THE WOO PIG SOOEY
Michael Qualls has signed a one-year deal with the Thunder. The athletic Arkansan suffered an ACL tear during draft workouts so he couldn’t return to the Razorbacks. Kevin Kuzminski of our staff likes his upside and believes someday he could make an impact with the Thunder.
We reported on Friday the Thunder had contacted Qualls after he went undrafted and planned to bring him aboard. Chalk it up to another SEC player Billy Donovan is familiar with that is putting on Thunder Blue.
The 6-5 junior out of Shreveport had 27/10 in his last game with the Razorbacks while being guarded by two NBA prospects from North Carolina in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
Qualls has a lot of pure athleticism that was being refined at Arkansas where he finished his career with 91 dunks. A 39.5-inch vertical will get your attention as will his 7-foot wingspan. The guy has just 4 percent body fat and brings the potential to become a defensive stopper. Definitely worth the money the Thunder will spend.
Qualls shot 44 percent from the field last season in Fayetteville but improved every season. Everything about him makes you think he has an intriguing upside.
DONOVAN JUST AS ADVERTISED
Nothing Billy the Kid is doing is surprising. Just the opposite. The new Thunder coach is a relentless worker with unending connections and with his proactive approach, is on pace to get the Thunder in a healthy spot heading into the biggest season in franchise history. Healthy being the key word, of course.
Get well KD!