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Category: Tyler Honeycutt

Tyler Honeycutt, Malcolm Lee express no regrets after slipping to second round of NBA draft

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For two players who were selected in the second round of the NBA draft Thursday, UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee seemed almost defiant about their decisions to leave college early.

"I think I'm the most athletic player in this draft," Honeycutt, a small forward who was selected 35th overall by the Sacramento Kings, said during a teleconference with reporters, pointing out his 41-inch vertical leap during predraft workouts.

Said Lee, a shooting guard who was picked No. 43 by the Chicago Bulls only to be immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves: "I look at it as a perfect situation."

It's certainly not as ideal as it would have been had they been taken in the first round.

By falling into the second round, neither player is guaranteed a contract, meaning their ability to make a season-opening roster is somewhat tenuous. Their situations are made all the more precarious by the looming lockout that is expected to wipe out the NBA's summer leagues, a proving ground for young players.

Honeycutt, who left the Bruins after a sophomore season in which he scored more than 20 points in only one game, dropped precipitously from some projections that had him as a borderline lottery pick a few months ago.

"I'm going to go there and try and show a lot of teams they made a mistake," he said.

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UCLA basketball: Malcolm Lee to declare for NBA draft, not hire an agent to preserve eligibility

Libnf4nc UCLA junior guard Malcolm Lee will announce Tuesday morning that he is declaring for the NBA draft but not hiring an agent to preserve the possibility of returning for his senior season, a person with knowledge of the situation who is not authorized to comment publicly until an announcement is made said Monday night.

Lee, projected in one mock draft to be selected early in the second round, can begin working out for NBA teams once he fully recovers from knee surgery in a few weeks and has until May 8 to withdraw his name from the draft and retain his amateur eligibility.

The departure of UCLA sophomore Tyler Honeycutt, who announced Monday that he would hire an agent and enter the NBA draft, was expected, but the loss of Lee, the Bruins' best defender and team captain, would drastically alter expectations for next season. Without Lee and Honeycutt, the Bruins' second- and third-leading scorers, a team that could have opened the season ranked in the top 10 in the country might barely create a ripple nationally.

On the plus side, the mother of sophomore forward Reeves Nelson said she expected the Bruins' leading scorer to return next season.

"As of right now, we would like him to stay in school and more than likely that's what he'll end up doing," Sheila Nelson said.

ALSO:

Former North Carolina guard Larry Drew II joins Bruins

UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt says he will hire an agent, enter NBA draft

--Ben Bolch

Photo: UCLA Bruins guard Malcolm Lee reacts after shooting a three pointer in the first half against the Florida Gators during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the St. Pete Times Forum. Credit: Kim Klement / US Presswire

UCLA basketball: Tyler Honeycutt says he will hire an agent, enter NBA draft

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UCLA sophomore forward Tyler Honeycutt said during a teleconference with reporters Monday that he would hire an agent and declare for the NBA draft.

He was hiring an agent, he said, to remove any uncertainty about his status so that he could focus on preparing for basketball at the next level.

"You have to stay enrolled in classes and things like that, and I just want to be focused on being able to have the consistent schedule with what I was going to do every day as far as nutrition and basketball and weights," Honeycutt said. "Classes would interfere with some of that."

"I'm 100% sure this is what I want to do, going all out for it."

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UCLA basketball: Tyler Honeycutt expected to declare for NBA draft

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UCLA sophomore forward Tyler Honeycutt is expected to announce Monday afternoon that he will declare for the NBA draft, according to a source close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss Honeycutt's plans.

UCLA has arranged a conference call for 4:30 p.m. with Coach Ben Howland and Honeycutt.

The departure of Honeycutt, the Bruins' third-leading scorer who averaged 12.8 points, was not entirely unexpected but could cost UCLA a potential top-10 national ranking to start next season.

Still uncertain are the futures of junior guard Malcolm Lee and sophomore forward Reeves Nelson.

ALSO:

Kevin O'Neill not surprised by VCU's Final Four run

Which would you prefer -- Jim Calhoun coaching the UConn women or Geno Auriemma coaching the UConn men?

--Ben Bolch

Photo: UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt steals the ball from Oregon State guard Lathen Wallace during a Pac-10 game in February at Pauley Pavilion. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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