Royce White

Greg Oden, Royce White, Others Selected In BIG3 Draft

The BIG3, Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league, completed its draft for the 2019 season on Wednesday night, and a number of noteworthy former NBA players were among the players selected.

Former NBA first overall pick Greg Oden wasn’t the first player picked in the BIG3 draft, but he did come off the board in the first round, going seventh overall to the Aliens, a team whose roster also includes Kendrick Perkins and Shannon Brown.

The No. 1 selection in the BIG3’s draft was former NBA first-rounder Royce White, whose NBA career was cut short after just three games due to battles with mental health and a fear of flying. White will join an Enemies squad led by captain Gilbert Arenas and co-captains Lamar Odom and Perry Jones III.

The following veterans who appeared in at least 100 games during their NBA careers were also selected in the 31-player draft on Wednesday:

  1. Larry Sanders (3 Headed Monsters)
  2. Josh Powell (Killer 3s)
  3. Shawne Williams (Bivouac)
  4. Jamario Moon (Ghost Ballers)
  5. Donte Greene (Killer 3s)
  6. Jason Richardson (Tri-State)
  7. Alan Anderson (Triplets)
  8. Sam Young (Trilogy)
  9. Brandon Rush (Aliens)
  10. Craig Smith (Enemies)
  11. Mario Chalmers (3 Headed Monsters)
  12. C.J. Watson (Killer 3s)
  13. Carlos Arroyo (Trilogy)
  14. Dion Glover (Bivouac)
  15. Bonzi Wells (Tri-State)

A full breakdown of the 2019 BIG3 draft results can be found right here, while the rosters for the 12 teams set to compete in the ’19 season are here.

And-Ones: White, Adams, Hawes, Withey

Former first-round pick Royce White still plans to play in Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league this summer despite making a jump to mixed martial arts, the 27-year-old told Hoops Rumors.

White, who last played in the NBA with Sacramento in 2014, entered his name to the BIG3 player pool in early February. White first made his intentions of starting a career in MMA known during an interview with ESPN’s Greg Rosenstein.

“I’m one of the best athletes in the world,” White told ESPN. “Among the NBA community, part of my appeal as a draft prospect was my unique size, athleticism, vision and that I probably have one of the 10 biggest set of hands in the NBA. I think all of those things will translate beautifully to the UFC.”

White released a book this week titled “MMA x NBA: A Critique of Modern Sport in America”. He was drafted 16th by the Rockets in 2012 after a standout season at Iowa State, later moving on to hold stints with the Kings and teams overseas before temporarily stepping away from the court last August.

White, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward, joins Shannon Brown, Kendrick Perkins, Lamar Odom and other former NBA players who are set to play in the BIG3 this summer.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent Jordan Adams has been acquired by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, G League affiliate of the Rockets, agent Shasta Scott told Hoops Rumors. Adams appeared in 32 games with the Grizzlies from 2014-16, averaging 3.2 points per game in limited time. He was drafted with the No. 22 pick by Memphis in 2014.
  • Former NBA player Spencer Hawes has signed a contract in the NBA G League and is available to be claimed off waivers, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days tweets. Hawes, a 10-year NBA veteran, has made stops with the Kings, Sixers, Cavaliers, Clippers, Hornets and Bucks during his professional career.
  • Jeff Withey has agreed to a deal with Greek team Lavrio B.C. for the rest of the season, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando). Withey started the season in Turkey with Tofas Bursa, but left the team following their elimination in the EuroCup. He last played in the NBA with the Mavericks during the 2017-18 season.

Lamar Odom, More Former NBA Players Join BIG3

Longtime NBA forward Lamar Odom, who spent 14 seasons with the Clippers, Lakers, Heat, and Mavericks, has become the latest addition to the BIG3 player pool, the league announced on Thursday (via Twitter).

Odom hasn’t played in the NBA since 2012/13, when he wrapped up his career with the Clippers. He signed with a team in Spain in 2014, but lasted just two games before returning home with a back injury. The former NBA champion has battled addiction issues and survived a drug overdose several years ago, but is healthy now and indicated back in the fall that he intended to join Ice Cube’s three-on-three league.

Odom is one of a handful of former NBA players who have joined the BIG3 within the last week, as the league has slowly been revealing the new additions to its player pool for the upcoming 2019 season. Besides Odom, the following players are poised to play in the BIG3 for the first time this year:

White is a former first-round pick while the other four veterans all played in the NBA for at least seven seasons. Watson suited up for an NBA squad most recently, appearing in 62 games for Orlando in 2016/17.

As we previously relayed, the BIG3 is adding four new teams for the 2019 season and expanding its schedule. In 2018, a team featuring longtime NBA players Corey Maggette, Glen Davis, Cuttino Mobley, and Quentin Richardson – and coached by Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman – won the league’s title.

Lorenzo Brown, Royce White Join Non-NBA Teams

Former NBA draftees Lorenzo Brown and Royce White have signed with new teams, and will be headed to China and Canada, respectively, according to reports. Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Zhang Duo) has the details on Brown, who will join China’s Zhejiang Golden Bulls, while Chris Reichert of The Step Back tweets that White has signed with the London Lightning in Canada’s NBL.

Brown, who was in camp with the Pistons this fall, was waived after losing the battle for the team’s third point guard spot, and reached an agreement with Russia’s Unics Kazan last month. However, the 26-year-old reportedly failed his physical with the Russian team, leaving him looking for work elsewhere.

The 52nd overall pick in the 2013 draft, Brown has logged 63 total NBA regular-season appearances for the Sixers, Timberwolves, and Suns. The former N.C. State standout spent much of the 2015/16 campaign with Detroit’s D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids, averaging 18.3 points, 5.8 assists and 2.9 turnovers in 33.3 minutes per game, before he signed with the Pistons near the end of the season.

As for White, the former 16th overall pick only ever appeared in three NBA regular-season games, back in 2014. An anxiety disorder, which included a fear of flying, complicated White’s ability to contribute to an NBA team, though a handful of clubs, including the Rockets, Sixers, and Kings, attempted to make it work. The 25-year-old continues to seek out professional basketball opportunities, but has acknowledged that advocating for mental health awareness is more important to him than trying to return to the NBA.

And-Ones: Lottery, Calipari, White

Lottery reform came close to happening last year, but commissioner Adam Silver thinks it will be a couple of years before the league considers it again, as he told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

“There’s a recognition that the lottery is only one aspect of how to build a team,” Silver said. “And given the inflow of the new television money next season and the large increase in the cap, ultimately the owners concluded that while we think we need to take a fresh look at the lottery system, let’s wait and look at the system holistically once the new money comes in.”

The Sixers and Thunder were reportedly the leaders of the opposition to derail a reform measure last year that had appeared likely to pass before they and 13 others teams blocked it. Here’s more from the NBA at large:

  • Rumors persist that John Calipari has interest in coaching in the NBA, with the Kings the team most recently linked to him, but Calipari reiterated to Scott Howard-Cooper of that he wants to remain at the University of Kentucky and doesn’t want an NBA return. “I don’t,” Calipari said. “I went through some things last year and I had a simple question for an owner. The impact I have on these young people, the impact to help change their families’ lives, the impact I have in the seat I’m in at Kentucky to move people in a positive way, can I have that in the NBA? Where do I get the satisfaction from? What do we do that has an impact on a community, has an impact on people, or am I just coaching to try to help you make more money and win a championship? Tell me how because I’m a stage in my life that’s not what moves me.’ “
  • Former first-round pick Royce White is focused on a return to the NBA and is considering a $200K offer from the Amerileague, a new U.S.-based semipro league, reports Jeff Goodman of Four-year veteran and fellow former first-rounder David Harrison has already signed a $200K deal of his own to join the league, which aims to offer top high school talent an alternative to college ball, as Goodman details. “Ultimately I believe I can play in the NBA and I want to do whatever I can to get back there,” said White, whose fear of flying sparked controversy that’s helped limit him to just three NBA appearances so far. “I’m 24 and to this point my career has had little to do with my ability. There’s a lot of misinformation out there that I require a lot of special accommodations and that’s not the case. I’m willing to fly, and flew several times to play in Orlando this past summer [for summer league with the Clippers].”

Royce White, Clippers Near Summer League Deal

Former first-round pick Royce White is closing on a commitment to join the Clippers for the July Summer League, league sources told Shams Charania of RealGM.  White also had summer league interest from the Bulls, Spurs, and Pelicans, but Charania says that he built trust with Clippers front office members through recent dialogue.

White, the former No. 16 overall pick in the 2012 draft, has only three NBA games on his resume, all which came with the Kings in 2014.  The forward had promise as a rookie three years ago but serious anxiety issues knocked his career off course.  White’s fear of flying meant that he was largely unable to travel with the team and the NBA’s road schedule isn’t terribly conducive to road travel.

The 24-year-old never ended up playing for the Rockets, the team that drafted him, and was traded to the Sixers along with the rights to Turkish forward Furkan Aldemir and cash in July 2013, for a conditional second -round draft pick. White played for the Sixers last preseason, but was waived before the season’s start.

And-Ones: Wolves, Lakers, Pacers, Celtics

Several players and agents suggested to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that any given Eastern Conference team would be more attractive than a comparable one from the Western Conference given the disparity between the conferences. One agent told Kennedy that players “absolutely” want to be the East and that he hopes his draft clients are taken by Eastern teams, though an executive cautioned that the presence of LeBron James might dissuade free agents from jumping out of the West. James is set to represent the East for the fifth straight time in the NBA Finals, and while we wait more than a week for tip-off, here’s more from around the NBA:

  • Chad Ford of hears D’Angelo Russell is in the mix for the Timberwolves at No. 1, says Karl-Anthony Towns, but not necessarily Jahlil Okafor, would be a lock for the Lakers at No. 2, and also writes in his chat with readers that the Pacers and Celtics would love to move up. Ford has heard chatter among GMs that the Thunder have promised Cameron Payne they’ll take him at No. 14, but he isn’t sure just how much truth there is to that, as the ESPN scribe writes in the same piece. Sources have suggested to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that Payne has a promise from some team. Our Eddie Scarito has Payne going to the Thunder in the Hoops Rumors Mock Draft.
  • UNLV shooting guard Rashad Vaughn had an especially impressive workout this past weekend, Ford observes in an Insider-only piece, and Vaughn also opened eyes in his workout Tuesday for the Heat, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Ford adds in his piece that scouts have told him that French center Alpha Kaba is willing to stay in the draft rather than withdraw by the June 15th deadline if he receives a promise from a team.
  • The Bulls and Pelicans have interest in former 16th overall pick Royce White, reports Shams Charania of RealGM, though it’s not clear if they’re yet considering him for any sort of deal that would go beyond summer league.

Southwest Notes: Rondo, Smith, White

The Rajon RondoMavericks relationship isn’t working and the poor fit is responsible for tension, opines Amin Elhassan of (Insider subscription required). Before acquiring Rondo, Dallas’ offense was scoring almost 114 points per 100 possessions, because it operated with plenty of ball and player movement where a system created shots for players, Elhassan added. Since January 1st, however, Dallas has allowed 102 points per 100 possessions defensively, while the offense has scored 103 points per 100 possessions, Elhassan notes. Dallas acquired Rondo on December 18th.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Houston legend Hakeem OIajuwon was surprised to see Josh Smith get released by the Pistons, but he’s very glad to see him with the Rockets and he believes that Smith came to the right team, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (via Twitter links).
  • Former Rockets first-round pick Royce White took to Twitter recently to make it known that he is not through playing basketball.  White has been out of the NBA since he went through a pair of 10-day deals with the Kings in 2013/14.
  • The Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ affiliate, has acquired the rights to Nate Wolters via the D-League’s waiver process, but the team may decide to trade him, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Wolters makes his return to the D-League after the Pelicans declined to sign him for the remainder of the season after Wolters’ second 10-day contract ended.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Kings Coaching Rumors: Mullin, Jent, Malone

The Kings’ head coaching job appears to be George Karl‘s if he wants it, and it seems like he does. Still, the job would be Chris Mullin‘s if he wanted to take it, an opposing GM tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), and Mullin is indeed a possibility, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Tyrone Corbin is expected to take the job on an interim basis once the Kings make their decision to fire Michael Malone official. Here’s more on a time of uncertainty in California’s capital:

5:28pm update:

  • Ranadive finds the prospect of Mullin coaching the team “very intriguing,” sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

4:48pm update:

  • It was a mutual parting of ways for Jent and the Kings, D’Alessandro told reporters, including Jones (Twitter link).

4:06pm updates:

  • Jent won’t be on the staff going forward, Corbin confirmed to reporters, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee notes (on Twitter).
  • Cousins said the news of Malone’s departure, which he heard via Twitter, evoked an emotional reaction among the players and called the day’s rainy weather a fitting backdrop, as Amick and Jones relay (Twitter links).

4:00pm updates:

  • DeMarcus Cousins said the Kings didn’t consult him about the apparent coaching change, but he trusts the team to work it all out, as he told reporters today, including USA Today’s Sam Amick (Twitter link).
  • The Kings and assistant coach Chris Jent are expected to part ways, tweets Marc Stein of, who indicates that the team plans to make its decision to fire Malone official on Tuesday.
  • Sacramento’s front office didn’t believe Jent, who served last season as the team’s top assistant, was the right man for the job, so they interviewed Alvin Gentry and Kurt Rambis for the position, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes in a full piece. Malone suspected at the time that the team was trying to hire his successor, and so he pursued Corbin, who landed the assistant coaching job and has been loyal to Malone. Gentry was uncomfortable with the notion that the Kings were setting him up as a head-coach-in-waiting, sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who says the Kings deny that they had that in mind.
  • There’s more than $4MM that Malone is still to receive under the terms of his contract with the Kings, Wojnarowski writes in the same piece.
  • The falling out between Malone and Kings management began late last season when Malone wanted the team to add a point guard and the front office instead signed Royce White to a pair of 10-day contracts and pushed Malone to play him, as Wojnarowski details.
  • GM Pete D’Alessandro was merely the messenger in many cases as he passed along orders from Ranadive that Malone didn’t like, though D’Alessandro and Malone never formed any mutual trust, according to Wojnarowski.
  • People around the team believe the Kings were waiting for an opportunity to fire Malone and used the team’s struggles of late as an excuse to do so, in spite of the absence of Cousins during the team’s 2-7 stretch over the last nine games, Wojnarowski hears.
  • The presence of Malone was a major reason why Rudy Gay signed his three-year extension with the team last month, Wojnarowski also writes.

Kings Re-Sign Jared Cunningham For Season

10:00pm: Cunningham has been signed for the remainder of the season, the team announced via official press release.

8:18am: Jared Cunningham‘s 10-day contract with the Kings expired Wednesday night, but the team plans on re-signing him for the rest of the season, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. The 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft joined the Kings on the final day in March after the Hawks waived him in late February.

Cunningham, a 22-year-old shooting guard, saw action in six games on his 10-day deal with Sacramento, averaging 3.0 points in 6.3 minutes per contest. Injuries have left the Kings thin in the backcourt, opening an opportunity for the Sam Goldfeder client. The 38 total minutes he’s seen in his brief time with the Kings represent more than 44% of the total minutes he’s played over his two-year NBA career, one in which he’s been an afterthought for both the Mavs and Hawks.

The plan to keep Cunningham signals that the Kings aren’t thinking of bringing Royce White back to the team this season, since Cunningham has been occupying the team’s final open roster spot. Sacramento had debated signing the power forward for the rest of the season after his second 10-day contract expired. Coach Michael Malone spoke glowingly of White’s time with the franchise, seeming to indicate that there had been no issues regarding the mental health struggles of the former Rocket and Sixer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Kings sign White in the offseason.