Amidst the drama surrounding DeMarcus Cousins and Sacramento Kings head coach Paul Westphal, the assignments of rookie Tyler Honeycutt and Hassan Whiteside became footnotes in the news. However, the demotions are part of a league-wide trend over the last week.
- December 29th: The Milwaukee Bucks assign second-year guard Darrington Hobson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
- January 1st: The Washington Wizards assign second-year big man Hamady NDiaye to the Iowa Energy.
- January 2nd: The Houston Rockets assign rookie Marcus Morris to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
- January 3rd: The Denver Nuggets assign rookies Julyan Stone and Jordan Hamilton to the Idaho Stampede.
- January 4th: The San Antonio Spurs assign rookie Cory Joseph to the Austin Toros.
- January 4th: The Portland Trailblazers assign second year players Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson to the Idaho Stampede.
The assignment of all of these players seems to coincide with something I’ve believed for quite some time: Young players are better off playing in games rather than sitting on NBA benches — especially when practice time is sparse during the lockout-truncated schedule.
(Updated at 12:22 PM PST to include Trailblazers’ D-League assignments)