The Rockets are close to reaching an agreement with Royce White that would see the rookie forward return to the team and reports to Houston's D-League affiliate, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. In a call to 97.9FM in Houston, White said he intends to report to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on February 11th, pending paperwork on an agreement with the Rockets.
A source tells Feigen that the written agreement between White and the Rockets would include "key elements of the protocols that White wanted to have as an addendum to his contract." However, it would not cede the decision-making authority on White to an individual outside of the organization. Since failing to report to the Rockets this fall, White has been pushing the team and the league to improve mental health protocol, and wanted decision-making authority to lie with his own doctors, rather than the team's.
"Everybody wants to make it seem like wild, wild west standoff between me and the Rockets," White said this morning. "That’s not the case here. There has been an issue that’s been identified. Mental health is not descriptive enough in the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and UPC (uniform player contract). It being so vague makes us make it up as we go. There’s no protocol. We need to rectify that to make sure the environment is safe. If we’re making it up as we go… that’s probably not the safest thing."
The agreement between the Rockets and White, which the 21-year-old indicated was close to being finalized, has also received input from the NBA and NBPA. It would see the Iowa State product resume workouts with an eye toward preparing for his D-League assignment.