December 20, 2011; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forwardTyler Honeycutt
(3) shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Power Balance Pavilion. The Kings defeated the Warriors 95-91. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
When Tyler Honeycutt was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the 2011 NBA Draft, many felt the Kings found themselves at worst a rotational athletic forward. Projected as a late first rounder, Honeycutt slid to Sacramento who had the fifth pick in the second round – despite mock drafts from “experts” like Rotoworld and Draft Express who had Honeycutt going 23rd to the Houston Rockets. The length – the game – it was all there, but with a small injury history, a few teams looked away resulting in his fall to Sacramento. Sadly, the brittle history has continued to haunt Honeycutt who has spent most of his first season plus on the sideline with some sort of semi-serious injury. Now entering his second season, already injured, the prospects aren’t looking good for the former UCLA star:
Scott – The athletic Honeycutt was extremely raw in his rookie year, exactly what the Kings figured when drafting him in the second round. He has a lot of mediocre competition at the swing forward spot, but unfortunately, he hasn’t shown enough to warrant minutes ahead of them. Honeycutt missed a golden opportunity when an injury forced him out of summer league play, and he’s a prime D-League candidate in 2013.
Marilyn – Tyler Honeycutt must be asking himself: Why me? There was no training camp last season due to the labor dispute that wiped 16 games from the schedule. Tyler spent much of his rookie season watching the action while sitting on the bench. Just when he looked forward to playing in the 2012 Summer League, he had a stress fracture to his foot, which sidelined him. Then, with the training camp in Colorado approaching, he learned he had a stress fracture to his fibula. This is catastrophic for a young player eager to get into the mix. This is not the kind of thing any player would want to happen to him at the beginning of his NBA career. At least he is able to participate with the team on a limited basis. I am hoping this is just a fluke of bad luck. Tyler made one memorable dunk on Michael Beasley in the limited minutes he did play last season. Hopefully, we will get to see a lot more of his dunks this season.
Bryan – When Honeycutt came out of UCLA, you had to be thrilled with his prospects given his talent when compared to his draft position. Sadly, given the injury history, it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll never see the talent the Sylmar native possessed. The 6’8 forward had injury issues while at college and it’s only grown during his short tenure in the NBA. Chalk it up to being brittle or chalk it up to bad luck, whatever the case might be – it’s an unfortunate set of circumstances. I wish him the best, but, I question if he’ll ever be the player he could’ve been and question if he’ll ever find much of a role in Sacramento. Between the injury history and rawness in his game, it’s a lot to overcome. We’re rooting for him, of course, but he has quite a challenge ahead of him.