It's been a year of ups and downs for Washington Wizards forward Chris Singleton. A former first-round pick from Florida State who is now the last remaining player from the Wizards' 2011 draft class, Singleton began the season with a fracture in his left foot, and sat out the first 13 games of the season.
Then, unsure of whether Singleton would fit into their future plans, the Wizards declined to pick up his fourth-year player option, which will make him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Through the Wizards' first 60 games, Singleton has appeared in 18, including a 16-game stretch when he didn't get any playing time at all, after appearing in 66 games his rookie season and 57 during his second.
"It's part of the game," Singleton said of his sporadic playing time this year. "I just try to be professional. The guys that are in front of me deserve it. I just have to go out there and play my game and just try to help my team the best that I can."
Singleton is getting a chance to play again now that the team's front court is depleted with injuries to Nene and Kevin Seraphin. After spraining his MCL Feb. 23, Nene was expected to miss six weeks, and Seraphin is day-to-day with soreness in his knee. Singleton has played in four straight games since the loss of Nene, and is averaging almost 17 minutes per game during that stretch.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman has repeatedly told the players who are deeper on the bench to stay ready, because they don't know when their time could come. Singleton said he knew he had to prove himself.
"I'm definitely motivated," Singleton said. "I'm trying to get another deal. Everybody knows that. I got to do what I got to do."
The Wizards selected Singleton, who was touted as a defensive stopper out of college, with the 18th overall pick, and while his defensive game is respectable, his offensive game has shown little improvement. He has career averages of 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. This season, he is averaging 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
But despite the uncertainty that has defined this season for him, Singleton has continued to work hard and seems to be maintaining a positive attitude as he waits for his opportunity.
"It hasn't been my time," Singleton said. "We've been playing well this year. I can't fault Coach for going the way he has been. I just got to go out there and play."