Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Tyler Honeycutt

Although the Pistons had several capable bodies at the small forward position last season, Tracy McGrady and Tayshaun Prince are both free agents and Rip Hamilton seems likely to be traded. Even little-used DaJuan Summers could be playing elsewhere next season. Jonas Jerebko seems destined to play the bulk of his minutes at power forward. The point is, the Pistons could address that position with at least one of their three picks in draft.

Info

Measurables: 6-foot-8, 188 pounds, sophomore SF from UCLA

Key stats: 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 41 percent

Projected: Late first/early second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Honeycutt is a multi-talented player who rebounds and blocks shots really well for a player his size. He’s long-armed and athletic and shoots 36 percent from 3-point range.

Honeycutt’s strength is defense. He led the Pac-10 in shot blocking as a sophomore, he’s quick, can stay in front of other players and is quick and long enough to get into passing lanes. If the Pistons played Honeycutt and Austin Daye on the wings at the same time, their length would prove to be an obstacle for opponents trying to get clean looks at the basket.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

The problem with Honeycutt is the same issue the Pistons have with Daye: he’s really slender. Although their length would be intriguing together, there’s no way either could prevent stronger wings from backing them down in the post.

A red flag with Honeycutt is also his shot selection. He shot 49 percent from the field as a freshman, but with a bigger role as a sophomore, that number fell to 41 percent. Although his shot-blocking and defense are close to NBA-ready, his offensive game lags behind a bit, which is why he sits at the lower part of the first round in most mocks.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

Perhaps the most intriguing part of his game, and the part that may not translate immediately to the NBA level, is his passing ability. Honeycutt shows very good court vision for a player of his size, and a willingness – perhaps to a fault – to setup his teammates. The problem is he often forces the issue, making high risk passes that may not be the best option. He’ll need to improve his decision making and ball-handling ability to fully utilize his passing ability at the next level, which may limit a team’s desire to use him in a point forward role initially.

From ESPN:

The Good: Honeycutt isn’t flashy, but he’s the sort of player who is a jack of all trades. He can be a solid shooter, decent rebounder, handles the ball well, sees the floor and has a nice basketball IQ.

The Bad: Honeycutt doesn’t really stand out in any one area. He’s struggled with his shooting at times this season and his numbers, across the board, have been pretty pedestrian.

The Upside: There were high hopes for Honeycutt coming into the season, and he’s shown flashes of being an NBA prospect. But for the most part, he’s been a disappointment. If NBA GMs take any solace, it’s in the fact that UCLA prospects in Ben Howland’s system come out the other side pretty NBA-ready. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday all have been better in the pros than their college stats indicated they would be.

LA Times:

The biggest knock on Honeycutt is a lack of consistency from a player who scored 33 points against Kansas but led his team in scoring only three times in 34 games.

“He’s not always bringing it to what we see is his highest capability,” the NBA executive said. “The talent is there. We’d like to see more consistency out of him.”

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores

Here’s a breakdown of how Ian Levy from Hickory High came up with his similarity scores.

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