PHOENIX Tyler Honeycutt might be the Kings' most athletic perimeter player.
So when his putback dunk attempt was blocked by the rim during the second quarter of Monday night's preseason game against the Phoenix Suns, it was obvious it had been a while since Honeycutt was on the floor in a game situation.
The Kings second-year forward played for the first time in the preseason in their 103-88 loss at US Airways Center.
Honeycutt's offseason has been more about rehabilitation than progression on the court.
Before he could practice in training camp, a right fibula stress fracture was discovered during his physical Oct. 1. Honeycutt was cleared to return to practice from that injury last Wednesday.
Honeycutt missed all of summer league in July with a right-foot stress fracture.
"I'm a little behind," Honeycutt said. "I've just got to get used to the actual feel of playing again."
Because Honeycutt being cleared coincided with the three-game trip beginning last Thursday, Honeycutt has had only one live practice, coach Keith Smart said.
As Smart shifts gears to prepare for the season opener next Wednesday in Chicago, this game and Thursday's preseason finale will be Honeycutt's only chance to get time on the floor.
Honeycutt had two points, four rebounds, an assist and two blocked in shots in 14:03 on the court against the Suns.
"I just wanted to see what he was going to look like trying to fit in, and not only fit in for Tyler," Smart said. "But as a young player, you're trying to make plays for yourself. Overall, I thought what he tried to do was show some length, show some athleticism on the floor. His whole thing is just catching up."
Smart said that process will include sending Honeycutt to play for the Kings' NBA Development League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.
"I want to get him there as soon as possible because he needs to play," Smart said.
The Bighorns open their season Nov. 30. Smart has a good relationship with Reno coach Paul Mokeski, which should help Honeycutt's development.
Honeycutt played 10 games with the Bighorns last season, averaging 5.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game.
Honeycutt played in 15 games for the Kings as a rookie out of UCLA for a total of 88 minutes.
"I think (Reno) will help me as long as I get the minutes," Honeycutt said. "I didn't feel like I got the minutes that I should have gotten last year.
"Hopefully if I do go, I can actually play and get my flow back so I can back and help the team."
Smart said after the loss to Phoenix that his starting lineup for Thursday's preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers in San Diego would be the starting lineup in Chicago.
The starting lineup Monday was Aaron Brooks, Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins. Smart said that group is not the starting lineup for the season opener.
Cousins played only in the first quarter and had eight points, five rebounds, an assist, two steals and a blocked shot.