The public perception of newly acquired Philadelphia 76ers power forward Royce White certainly isn’t the most favorable thing on the planet. The first round pick from the 2012 NBA Draft was in the news often over his rookie season, but it was more for his battle with anxiety disorders, immature behavior and reluctance to fly to away games than it was for his performance on the court.
Under contract with the Houston Rockets last season, White didn’t see any action in the NBA. He spent almost the entire year in the D-League where he was solid, but also wasn’t a revelation by any stretch. In 16 games he averaged 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists and 25.6 minutes per game, but shot only 44.4 percent from the field.
Despite White not having any track record of success in the NBA yet, he may actually see minutes for the Sixers as the team tries to tank for the 2014 NBA Draft. As of right now only Arnett Moultrie is the only power forward still under contract for the Sixers other than White.
If the Sixers play it smartly, they are going to want to try and develop Moultrie next season and get him ample opportunities as the team’s starting power forward. However, he’s not going to be able to play 48 minutes per game, which means that White could stumble into a role as a reserve power forward.
Though the issues with White having to go to games on the road is a completely other issue, he doesn’t look NBA ready at all at this point as a player. Considering that the Sixers are tanking this season, though, White playing is probably part of the plan. More than likely, though, it’s going to be painful to watch.