The 16th overall draft pick in 2012 was acquired by Philadelphia in a July trade with the Huston Rockets and despite the off-court issues with anxiety, Royce White seemed to be given a second chance. Khalif Wyatt, Vander Blue, Mac Koshwal, and White were all released on Thursday. White’s release is seemingly the most debatable.
Philadelphia lost their final preseason game to the Minnesota Timberwolves 125-102 on Wednesday. The four players were released the following day.
The 6-foot-8, 260-pound power forward missed the 76ers’ first two preseason games in Europe due to his severe anxiety disorder and fear of flying. White has been in numerous feature articles regarding mental health treatment in America, and consistently has off-court problems, but was releasing him a smart move?
Interestingly, Coach Brett Brown gave indication that White was potentially securing a position stating the 76ers “genuinely hope” it works out for him.
The 22-year-old didn’t see a minute of court-time last year with Houston. He was either suspended or with the Rockets’ Development League affiliate. It is no shock that between his triggered panic attacks and off-court antics, his behavior and talent were deeply examined. Both Sam Hinke, General Manager, and Brown found that his physical talent versus the probability he won’t play a full season due to various issues was not worth the risk.
He acknowledged his personal struggle to USA Today in an interview, “I have real-life anxieties, like three children, so I think about them most of the day. And then I think about business, so it’s appropriately important. And especially with things like that — I’ve been coached by doctors, counselors, to keep things that are out of your control out of your mind. Actively force yourself to try and not harp on things that aren’t in your control. The only thing that I can control is coming out and playing, and whether I make the roster is obviously out of my control, once the game is over.”
This could be the end of the Royce White in the NBA, but regardless, White plans to open a mental health clinic and help those who struggle with mental health issues in America.
The 76ers also released Wyatt, Blue, and Koshwal. Wyatt was an outstanding asset in Orlando during the team’s summer league, averaging a team-best 13.8 points per game. The undrafted rookie out of Temple appeared in four of seven games with an average of five points with very limited action. With his exceptional summer performance and dedication to slim down to 207 pounds, you would think Brown would have kept Wyatt around as a potential developmental player.
Blue is an undrafted rookie out of Marquette. The 6-foot 4 guard averaged 6.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in five preseason performances.
Koshwal signed with the Sixers in late September. The power center/forward declared for the draft following his junior season at DePaul in 2010. He averaged just 2.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in three preseason appearances.
Wyatt, Blue, White and Koshwal could all potentially be signed for the 76ers’ NBA Development League, the Delaware 87ers, if waivers clear.
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