As if fighting allegations of domestic assault while trying to save a career in the NBA wasn’t enough for ex-Gopher Royce White. On Monday, ESPN released its Player Rankings, starting with those ranked between 401 and 500 — White was ranked No. 500.
White, who is now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, ranked in at No. 290 in 2012 when he was with the Houston Rockets. Now, a year removed from being selected 16th overall by Houston, the former Gopher and Iowa State Cyclone still has yet to accumulate any statistics in the NBA to warrant a better ranking.
His ranking is so poor that several free agents rank higher on ESPN’s list, including former NBA star Lamar Odom. In all fairness, White has the talent to rank in the top 200, but his off court issues make him one of the least desired players in the league.
White averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and five assists per game in 2011 for the Cyclones. At 6-foot-8, 260 lbs, White is no doubt NBA material. But his defiant demands concerning transportation to away games, formed out of a fear of flying, has made White unfavorable in the eyes of most NBA front offices.
If he wants to save his career in the NBA, the 76ers may be his last shot. The first step would be earning playing time, but White will need to understand he’s working from behind. All the news surrounding White since he was drafted has cast him into a bad spotlight that would make him a targeted player in the NBA.