The Philadelphia 76ers traded for Royce White in early July, sending just “future considerations” to the Houston Rockets in order to acquire the 2012 first-round pick and Turkish prospect Furkan Aldemir. It turns out that the little-known Aldemir, not the embattled White, was apparently the object of the Sixers’ affection.
It made sense for new 76ers GM Sam Hinkie to pick up White considering he came from Houston and likely knew about the internal issues that kept White from ever actually playing a regular season game for the Rockets. Hinkie spoke pretty openly — at least by his standards — to Tom Moore at the Bucks County Courier Times on Friday, however, and it seems that the Sixers might not be all that high on the enigmatic White.
As for the embattled White, Hinkie answered a question about White’s possible role on the team generically and never mentioned White by name.
An NBA source said the Rockets, who dealt him to the Sixers on July 6 along with a second-round pick and Turkish power forward Furkan Aldemir for future considerations and cash, are picking up the $1.7 million salary of White, who has an anxiety disorder and is afraid to fly. That means the Sixers have nothing invested in White — and that the 21-year-old Aldemir was the primary target in the deal, which the source confirmed.
If the Sixers don’t actually owe White anything this season, as Moore reports, it would seem that they likely wouldn’t put up with a lot hen it comes to the former Iowa State Cyclone. That likely means that he’ll probably be cut if he’s serious about not flying again this season (he gave an emphatic “Hell no” when asked about the possibility this summer), especially if the Sixers don’t like what they see in training camp. That’s a possibility, too, considering White showed up out of basketball shape when the Rockets finally convinced him to play in the D-League last season.
Let’s all hope that White’s situation turns out the best for everyone involved basketball-wise, but it sounds like White is already doing his part to make a difference off the court.
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.
But we didn’t expect this.
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.
Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.