The Philadelphia 76ers made their final roster cuts yesterday, and the three names that stood out among the cuts were Khaliff Whatt, Vander Blue, and Royce White. Blue and White were certainly head scratching.
Both players had shown flashes of being at least solid bench players with their scoring and awareness on both ends of the court. Many, including myself, believed White would actually be their first forward off the bench coming in and providing a scoring spark. Apparently, this wasn’t to be.
Part of me believes this wasn’t a basketball related move. Rather, it was done for the Sixers to rid themselves of the controversy surrounding White. His anxiety disorder is well publicized, and he doesn’t like getting on planes or traveling conventionally with the rest of the team. It is possible the Sixers thought he was too much to handle.
He did look like he was taking steps in this area by traveling with the team pretty much everywhere except the European trip. I believe letting a talent like White go was a mistake. He has rare skills for a big man. He passes like a point guard, can score in the post, and is very nimble getting up and down the floor.
You just don’t see that every day from a man who is 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds. It is possible the Sixers stash him on their D-league squad, the Delaware 87ers. This would be the smart move. Stash him and a guy like Blue there, get them ready, and they can contribute in the future. These guys can be major bench pieces on a rebuilding team and eventually a good team when the Sixers get the right players in place.
For now this one’s a head scratcher. Regardless of his issues White has a place in this league on the hardwood displaying his variety of skills.