The Houston Rockets have suspended former Gopher and Hopkins High School standout Royce White for “refusing to provide services” required by contract.
A few weeks ago, Houston head coach Kevin McHale was asked if the team still had contact with White. McHale responded as if the 16th overall pick has not been on his mind for a while, stating he did not know where White was and that the organization and White were still in a stalemate over how to accommodate White’s health requirements.
The question posed to McHale received plenty of national attention and perhaps drew action from the Rockets. Perhaps negotiations resumed to try and get White playing, but at this point, Houston’s hand was seemingly forced after the team assigned White to their D-League affiliate last week and he refused.
General Manager Daryl Morey said on Sunday that the Rockets will continue to work with White in hopes that one day he will play minutes for the Rockets.
Whatever negotiations there are between the two camps has been hidden from the public, so it is unfair to speculate whether the gridlock between the two sides is because the Rockets won’t accommodate or that White is not cooperating.
But Minnesota fans have seen this before: most haven’t forgotten that White did not play a minute for the Gophers before getting in legal trouble and transferring to Iowa State, where he played one successful season for the Cyclones. before declaring for the draft.
White may not be so lucky this time around — the longer the stalemate, the less appealing he is to any other NBA team looking for a potentially dominate and versatile forward.