Sacramento Kings Reportedly 'Likely' to Sign Royce White to 10-Day Contract

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

USA Today

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey must not have gotten through to the Sacramento Kings.

Royce White, the former first-round pick turned draft bust, may be tracking toward an NBA return, according to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen:

Sounds about right.

Update: Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 2:50 p.m. ET by Dan Favale

According to USA Today's Sam Amick, White's tryout is likely to culminate in a 10-day contract:

The Sacramento Kings recently worked out 22-year-old forward and mental health advocate Royce White and are likely to sign him to a 10-day contract, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because no deal had yet been finalized.

White was drafted 16th overall by the Houston Rockets out of the Iowa State in 2012, but he struggled to adjust to the NBA lifestyle, in part, because of the well-chronicled anxiety disorder from which he suffers.

It's like I always say: Where there's no longer a Jimmer, there's a Royce.

---End of update---



The Kings are nearing a buyout agreement with Jimmer Fredette, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, so the natural response is to show interest in White, who has played in exactly zero regular-season games since being drafted by the Rockets in 2012.

After spending all of 2012-13 battling the Rockets on a number of issues, White, who suffers from anxiety, was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers last July and waived in October. Coming out of Iowa State, he was touted as a versatile point forward with an extremely high ceiling, provided he was able to move past his anxiety issues.

To this point, that hasn't happened.

Twitter rants and critical interviews have hurt his public image. White had the opportunity to break down barriers that currently exist between the NBA and the familiarity of coping with mental health, but he failed.

Now White finds himself out of the NBA, not far removed from being called the worst first-round pick ever by Morey.

Morey and the Rockets couldn't make it work with White. Could the Kings?
Morey and the Rockets couldn't make it work with White. Could the Kings?Bill Baptist/Getty Images

During a question-and-answer session with Rockets season ticket holders in January, Houston's general manager dished on the team's decision to draft White. His comments were made available by Twitter user @MiggysWorld35, who was present for Morey's explanation, and relayed by's Ben DuBose.

"I take some sort of pride that you could argue that Royce White is the worst first-round pick ever," Morey joked, via DuBose. "He’s the only one that never played a minute in the NBA that wasn’t just a foreign guy staying in Europe. It just shows we swing for the fence."

Humor aside, Morey has a point. White hasn't played a single minute of meaningful action in the nearly two years he's been out of college, reinforcing the significance and complexity of his situation.

Could the Kings be willing to give him another shot? Maybe, maybe not.

Unlike the Rockets in 2012-13, the Kings aren't battling for a playoff spot, giving them the luxury of patience and the freedom to experiment. They do, however, have plenty of forwards already on the roster, and they weren't exactly inclined to play Fredette, another high-risk prospect. 

If they do sign him, it's difficult to imagine him playing much, if ever.

Then again, any playing time at all, however little, is more than White's ever had before.