Thursday, June 16, 2011
Posted: 12:19 p.m.
By Dei LynamCSNPhilly.com
Tyler Honeycutt walked away from his conversation with the media Wednesday after his 10th pre-draft workout and threw down a ferocious dunk.
The 6-foot-8 wing player, it appeared, wanted to make a lasting impression. Considering it is the lone basketball move weve seen from a potential draft pick during a visit, he accomplished his mission.
The majority of the players the Sixers have brought to work out in are big men. Honeycutt is a perimeter player suited to be a small forward or shooting guard, depending on how his game progresses especially at the defensive end.
I think I can be a two or three, Honeycutt said. I can be whatever the team needs me to be. It is whatever you can guard. You are going to make your money being able to guard your position, so if I am able to show I can guard both positions it makes me that much more valuable.
Honeycutt is an early entry candidate in the draft, leaving UCLA after his sophomore season. He knows the Sixers starting point guard Jrue Holiday well, because they played in the AAU.
Honeycutt has watched Holiday come into his own just two years into his NBA career. He believes the two players Bruin background gives them an advantage at the pro level.
You go to UCLA, you become a better basketball player and you try and win, he said. His (coach Ben Howlands) key emphasis is defense, so a lot of players coming out of there are good defenders.
Being a good defender would make Honeycutt appealing to the Sixers; it is the characteristic they are developing their identity on under coach Doug Collins. But a quick first-step perimeter player that is working on his shot is a familiar description with this team. Honeycutt seems like more of the same this franchise has drafted in recent years.
Director of player personnel Courtney Witte said the Sixers certainly think about that.
If there are a number of players that are similar, then you try to take the best, Witte said. If somebody is a different position and there is no separation, then you take by need.
That philosophy is sound but for too long now the Sixers have been unable to fill the need of a starting shooting guard and legit big man with a defensive presence.
As for Honeycutt, he is hopeful that the 13 points and seven rebounds he averaged on a 23-11 UCLA squad will be eye-catching enough to make his dream come true on June 23, when he hopes to hear the NBA Commissioner, David Stern, announce his name.
It is a long, tiring process, but at the same time it is fun, he said. It is only going to happen once in everybodys life if you are fortunate enough to get to this level you are only going to do this one time. After the draft you have a lot of free time, so just working out these last few weeks and working hard on my days off.
Honeycutt will most likely be there when the Sixers select at No. 16 in the drafts first round he is likely to be drafted 23rd or 24th. Like most players who come through the Sixers practice facility during this process, Honeycutt would like to move up but not at the expense of trying too hard.
They just want you to play your game, he said. They have seen me play enough games so they know what you are capable of so they dont want you coming out here doing things you arent capable of. That would only hurt yourself so you come out and play to your strong suits.
E-mail Dei Lynam at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @DLynamCSN.
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