The Kings expect to sign White to a 10-day contract on Thursday and immediately assign him to the Reno Big Horns, where he will be evaluated over four games...If White's D-League stint goes well, the Kings will likely sign him to a second 10-day contract and add him to their active roster.
White is expected to practice with the Big Horns on Thursday in Reno. He could make his Big Horns debut against the Idaho Stampede on Friday night. Kings executives are expected to be on hand during the four games that White is expected to play in Reno.
Update: Thursday, March 6 at 7:05 p.m. ET:
The Kings have officially announced the signing of White to a 10-day deal.
--End of update--
The Houston Rockets originally chose White with the No. 16 pick in the 2012 draft, despite the fact that the Iowa State star suffers from an anxiety disorder and has a pronounced fear of flying.
Though White never played for Houston, he did suit up for the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers. But he chose to leave the team before the postseason, citing concerns over the schedule.
"The playoff schedule and how hectic it is in the D-League probably ain’t going be the best thing for me," White said, per the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen. "Going to the playoffs, I want them to have a team that’s going to stick together."
The Rockets traded White to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2013 offseason. He did not travel with the Sixers on their preseason trip to Europe—a concession made by the team for White's well-known fear of flying, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News—but did play in five preseason games, averaging five points and 4.4 rebounds on 39.1 percent shooting before being released.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.com thinks it's a "good gamble" on the Kings behalf to take a chance on White, but after White rejected a D-League assignment from the Rockets—the team that gave him his opportunity to be drafted into the NBA—it's hard to see how there isn't some level of risk and distraction attached.
What does it say that a team like Philadelphia, which cares much more about developing young talent than winning games at the moment, refused to give White a regular-season audition? Perhaps he is simply not worth the effort.
Either way, the Kings will find out soon enough. They're going nowhere in 2013-14. He showed a multi-faceted game in college that could really help them.
This club is well-positioned to take chances in the last two months of the season. And Royce White might be the ultimate low-risk, high-reward player.
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