October 24, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Rockets power forward Royce White (30) against the New Orleans Hornets during the first half of a preseason game at the New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Reported first by Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday evening, the Sixers and Rockets had reached an agreement to send Royce White, the No.16 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft to Philadelphia for future draft considerations.
Ultimately, it looks as though Houston looked to make the move for two reasons.
1. Make Room for another FA to pair with Dwight Howard
Houston has landed their prized possession, Dwight Howard. They lured him away from the luxurious life and spotlight of Los Angeles to join a team with a longer window of opportunity to compete for a championship.
James Harden established himself as a superstar in his own right in his first season away from Oklahoma City. Paired up with Howard, with role players such as Chandler Parsons, and a coach of Kevin McHale’s caliber, Houston should be close to contending immidiately. If GM Daryl Morey can clear enough cap space to add another high quality free agent either this year or next, the Rockets could have a “Big Three” of their own.
2. Royce White was Hinkie’s Choice in Houston
Sam Hinkie was assistant general manager to Morey in Houston when they selected Royce White with the 16th selection in last summer’s draft. Morey’s willingness to part ways with the youngster and Hinkie’s decision to bring him in for his first season as general manager of the Sixers, means that the likelihood that Hinkie was the one that was sold on White out of college.
White’s struggles off the court have been well documented. He suffers from an anxiety disorder. Despite popular belief, the second year forward is not a “head case”, he simply has a mental illness.
The potential for Royce White off the charts. Offensively, his ceiling is higher than any current Sixer, not including Jrue Holiday, who is still technically on the roster until the NBA approves the draft day trade with the Hornets.
If Hinkie can work things out for White, this deal is an absolute steal. The Sixers got him for virtually nothing, so whether his career takes off or not, it will not be a franchise crippling move that so many fans thought the Andrew Bynum trade to be.
Regardless, with the shape that this roster is currently in, he will certainly get his chance.