Outside of Jimmer Fredette’s September exhibition contest in Utah, Sacramento Kings rookie Tyler Honeycutt wasn’t heard from much during the lockout. Now that training camp is finally in session, the opportunity has presented itself to learn a little bit more about the former UCLA Bruin.
“It’s just like from going to high school to college,” Honeycutt said of the transition to the NBA, following the second day of practice. “It’s college to the big boys. Everybody’s taller, faster, stronger, smarter, more athletic – so, just being able to adjust to that and make sure I’m getting into the weight room, getting stronger. Just playing basketball, making the right decisions.”
From moving on the floor, reading screens and proper spacing, Honeycutt says he’s learned a lot so far in his first NBA training camp. The rookie forward credits Kings swingman Francisco Garcia as an early mentor.
“He’s been kind of looking over me like a big brother telling me where to go or just making sure I’m on the right spots on the floor,” said Honeycutt of the seven-year veteran.
Honeycutt wants to earn minutes through his defense and hopes to prove he’s a versatile defender at the NBA level. Right now, he’s working to show the Kings coaching staff he can defend the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions. As he bulks up, Honeycutt hopes to effectively guard power forwards, too.
“I just want to stay active defensively,” said Honeycutt. “When you get minutes that’s where it’s going to come from.”
A Southern California native, Honeycutt spent most of his time during the lockout in Los Angeles preparing for the season. He worked on getting stronger by lifting weights at least four times a week. Honeycutt also focused on maintaining his conditioning by running on the beach once or twice every week and of course, playing basketball at a local gym at least once or twice a day.
Off the court, Honeycutt describes himself as a goofball. He was surprised to find he and teammate DeMarcus Cousins share that personality trait in common.
“He’s real goofy,” said Honeycutt of Cousins. “He’s like a kid. He’s always joking, which I’m the same way, so I could tell we’re going to get along that way.”