Royce White, the No. 16 pick from the last draft, has been away from the Rockets since just a couple weeks into the season as he clashed with the team over the best way to deal with his anxiety disorder.
Now it looks like he may start out his career in the D-League — Houston has assigned White to its D-League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as reported by CSNHouston.com.
This is supposed to be the first step in a multi-week program to get him back to the team, CSN reports.
For the past week White has been back at the Rockets training facility working out (although not with the team).
At the start of training camp White and the Rockets tried to come to an agreement over how best to accommodate him dealing with his disorder. White feels the team has not been honest and not done enough to accommodate his needs. The Rockets have been publicly supportive but will say they think they have done a lot (including him to drive to many of the team’s road games on a bus and more.
White has taken to twitter to decry his treatment (and how he has been portrayed in the press), saying this is not about the fear of flying that is part of his disorder but about his treatment by the team.
White fell to No. 16 in the draft because he was open about his disorder and some teams were concerned about if he could adapt to the NBA lifestyle of travel and inconsistent schedules. The Rockets took the risk, because GM Daryl Morey believes in his talent, but White has yet to play for them.
We will see if he ever plays for the Vipers as a start.