Despite being selected 16th overall in the 2012 draft, Royce White has yet to play in a regular season NBA game. While White played for the Rockets’ D-League affiliate last season and appeared in a handful of preseason games for the Sixers this fall, his well-documented anxiety disorder has derailed his NBA career so far.
Nonetheless, White doesn’t believe his NBA career is over. The 22-year-old tells Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register (link via USA Today) that he’s receiving NBA interest and that reports of his fear of flying have been “overblown.”
“We’re in contact with some teams,” White said. “Quite a few more than expected. People are more understanding than you think. It’s not an insensitive crowd. There are teams involved. It’s finding a situation that’s appropriate.”
After a year of trying to make things work in Houston, the Rockets sent White to the Sixers in a salary dump to clear cap room for Dwight Howard. Given the team’s low expectations for 2013/14, Philadelphia looked like a good landing spot for White, but the club waived him prior to opening night, making him a free agent.
When we asked Hoops Rumors readers whether White would eventually see action in the NBA, you were skeptical, with more than 70% of respondents predicting that the Iowa State product wouldn’t ever make his NBA debut. Still, White believes it could come down to finding the right fit.
“Basketball is in a flux for me at this point, but it’s something that happens to a lot of guys in their early careers,” White said. “For me, it’s can we find a team that has the right setup, has an open mind, wants to understand what I’m saying, and other things that we’ve discovered since I’ve been in the league.”
The Rockets are the only NBA team ineligible to offer White a contract, since clubs aren’t allowed to re-sign free agents so soon after trading them.