Lazeric Jones averaged a team-leading 13.5 points for UCLA last season. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
There was a UCLA basketball reunion of sorts Monday at Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village, where former Bruins Jrue Holiday, Tyler Honeycutt and Lazeric Jones came to work out.
It was also a pyramid of NBA success, if you will.
Holiday is the starting point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers. Honeycutt recently completed his rookie season with the Sacramento Kings. And Jones is an NBA hopeful, eager to hear his name called in the June 28 draft.
Jones is not listed on the mock draft boards of draftexpress.com or nbadraft.net, but the 6-foot-1 point guard remained optimistic he would play professionally.
“I’ve been working out my whole life trying to make it to this level,” Jones said, “so whether I get drafted or not, I feel like I’ll get to this level whether it’s playing for a summer league team or something. I’m going to get there.”
Jones, who averaged a team-leading 13.5 points for UCLA last season, said he has workouts scheduled with Sacramento, Chicago, Golden State and possibly Atlanta. The Chicago native and former high school teammate of Derrick Rose would particularly love to hear his name called by the Bulls, though they hold only the No. 29 pick in the draft.
“I feel like every kid who grew up in Chicago wanted to play for the Bulls,” Jones said. “Derrick has kind of killed that dream for a lot of point guards, but I have a workout coming up with the Bulls. So hopefully I can impress them and if they like me they’ll pick me somewhere. But I’m just trying to get in, period.”
Honeycutt can relate; he just wants to log more court time with the Kings.
The 6-8 small forward appeared in only 15 games in his first professional season, averaging 1.3 points. His best showing came in the season finale against the Lakers, when he had seven points, five rebounds and two assists in 15 minutes.
Honeycutt said he learned a lot merely by watching.
“Some say that might be the best, coming in and just observing the game from right there,” he said. “I’m just taking what I learned and coming out here and practicing what I think I need to work on and what they want me to do.”
What did the Kings tell him to work on?
“Definitely defense, they said, is going to earn me minutes,” Honeycutt said. “That will help me stay on the court and just working on my shot, working on my handle, being able to put the ball on the floor if I want to be a two guard.”
Honeycutt said there were advantages to spending time in Sacramento.
“Nice housing for real cheap,” he said. “They say it’s a cow town and there’s not much to do, which I was looking forward to and actually liked about being out there because you stay out of trouble. Boredom will keep you in the gym.”
That’s the place you’re most likely to find Honeycutt and Jones in the coming months, honing their games, preparing to fulfill their dreams.
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