Royce White was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. He was unable to play his rookie season because of a rift with his team regarding the ability of them to manage his well-known anxiety disorder. His talent is undeniable, as he was one of the best players in the country during his one year at Iowa State. He made plays at both ends of the floor, averaging 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
The relationship between the Rockets and White was never going to be resurrected, so they decided to part ways and send him to the Philadelphia 76ers. The new Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie came over from Houston and decided to take a chance on White, and so far, in terms of working on the anxiety issues, we have seen improvement.
White has played in five preseason games and even flew with the team to Charlotte and Cleveland. Because of lack of depth in the frontcourt, it looks like there’s a legitimate chance that White will be an impact player on the Sixers’ roster. Outside of Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen, there are minutes available for big men, and if White is able to travel, he will probably get the first chance because of his potential. He has more upside than guys like Daniel Orton and Gani Lawal, but he needs to start showing it.
His play on the court has been mediocre at best. He has at least two turnovers in all five preseason games, has struggled with his shot, and posted a plus/minus in the negative in four of five games. At this point, it’s just good to see that he is playing and staying on the court. And since the Sixers will be so bad this year, White will get his opportunities to play.