Early Thursday, Royce White made it known to the world via Twitter that his stint with the Rockets' D-League squad would be coming to an end after twelve games. His future plans, however, may still be somewhat surprising and unclear.
The forward, who is yet to appear in a game this season for Houston, said he would be returning to town to resume workouts, but insisted he wouldn't be re-joining the Rockets just yet.
It's safe to say that usually when a player leaves his team's NBADL affiliate, it's because all parties involved believe he's prepared to try his luck in the NBA once again.
In this case, however, White has asserted that his D-League departure and subsequent return to Houston is at the urging of a team physician. According to White, coming back has been deemed the most logical and healthiest option.
Having said this, however, the rookie still has no plans to re-join the Rockets because necessary provisions and plans to accommodate his anxiety disorder have not been put in place. Appearing on CNN on Thursday to elaborate, White was asked to discuss the types of things he needed from the NBA squad in order to move forward. Even he himself couldn't quite put a finger on it, though. See below.
White did go on to say that it's healthier for people like himself to settle into a common and stable environment in order to get most comfortable with their surroundings. Though he spent over a month playing for RGV, perhaps the everyday grind and necessary travel time made it difficult for White to fully adjust.
Certainly, it's easier to understand how staying in one city at all times would help lower White's anxiety with regard to worrying about constant travel and such. Even so, however, he himself has said that while in Houston, he hadn't been training more than a couple times per week. With his main goal being to better prepare himself for next season, the work load would seemingly have to be a bit heavier if he wants to make a solid impression and sufficent on the court progress.
Aside from being forced to travel, wouldn't staying in Rio Grande Valley with the Vipers for the rest of the regular season not only give White more time to settle in, but also provide a more consistent schedule with regard to further getting into NBA shape? There seem to be benefits to staying in RGV as well.
Reading strictly between the lines, it doesn't appear as though the Rockets' basketball officials authorized or suggested such a switch. The organization has thus far had no comment, and White is still listed on the Vipers' roster.
After getting off to a slow start (as could've been expected) in RGV, White began to show flashes of the type of steady play that must've peaked Houston's curiosity when drafting him originally. He plays well off the ball, has solid court vision for a forward, rebounds the ball nicely, and knows how to assert himself physically on the defensive end. He's a gritty player who can score when need be. Through 12 games, he averaged 9.6 points, 5.6 boards, and 3.3 assists.
Of course, any signs of positive play he went on to show needed to be followed up with signs that he could continue to be consistent in doing so. He hasn't been able to provide that thus far, and now, everyone watching White will have to wait until next season to see what happens next.