Houston Rockets: Why signing Dwight Howard Wasn't the Team's Best Move This Offseason

By Reece Helms
Royce White
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NBA free agency period has been a good one for the Houston Rockets, mainly because of the signing of one particular player, Dwight Howard. You might have heard of him, he’s a good basketball player. He causes a lot of drama, but nonetheless, it was a good addition for the Rockets. As much of a better team he will make the Rockets, it might have not even been the best move by the team this offseason.

Yeah, it wasn’t the best move by the Rockets. Instead, it was when Houston agreed to trade away Royce White to the Philadelphia 76ers. Wait, what? Yep, it was the departure of White. In case you don’t know, White has a major anxiety problem, and refuses to fly on an airplane with the rest of the team.

OK, I halfway understand that, you have an anxiety disorder, I get that. With that being said, lets look at White’s basketball talent, he played his college ball at Iowa State, and was a solid player, but how does he fare at the NBA level? We don’t exactly know that, because of his anxiety, he has yet to step onto a court in an NBA game.

We aren’t even sure White is an NBA player, we aren’t sure if he can ball at the NBA level. So, are we really going to rent one of the worst players on the team a private bus, so he can ride instead of fly to every game? Are we going to go through all that trouble to get Royce White on the court? Heck no, this would be totally different if we were talking about LeBron James or someone who is really good. I don’t care how LeBron gets to the games if he wants to play for my team, I’ll go through all the trouble in order to get him on the court. Would I do the same for White? NO!

White isn’t worth all the trouble and drama he is, and the Rockets did the right thing by trading him away. I’m not sure who would trade for him, I don’t know what about him exactly says, “Hey, let’s trade for the average role-player who refuses to ride on the plane with the rest of the team.”

I respect Royce White and I acknowledge his anxiety issue, but you can’t expect everyone to kiss up to you all the time. In the past, he flirted with the idea he might try to fly for a few games, but when asked if he would eventually fly to every game, Royce answered that with an emphatic, “Hell no.” White will have to acknowledge it might keep him from playing in the NBA unless he can defeat the problem.

As you can see, White is more of a pain than a prize. When he was traded, huge burden lifted off of the Rockets’ back, and was placed on the 76ers’ back. Signing Howard will be remembered as the marquee move of free agency this year, but trading White means less drama in Houston. Have fun, Philly.

You can follow Reece Helms on Twitter at: @Reece_Helms

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