Aside from Andrew Bynum's entire existence and the sad, Adidas-narrated tale of Derrick Rose, the most notable NBA player who failed to appear in a single game last season was probably the recently acquired Royce White. White's situation differed from Bynum's in that his nonexistence rooted in a fundamental disagreement between White and the Rockets about how his anxiety disorder would be handled, whereas Bynum bowled and danced the season away.
But it's possible that the Sixers may not even want White, making this the second straight offseason that the team has acquired a player in a deal that would not see the court the following season. From Dei Lynam's Twitter account:
#SixersTalk team has the option on Justin Holiday he would be 10th player. And if they keep White (doubt) thats 11. Have to get to 52 mil— Dei Lynam (@dlynamCSN) July 10, 2013
Liberty Ballers previously heard from a source that the main prize for the Sixers in this trade was not White but Furkan Aldemir, aka Turkish Thunder, the international prospect included in the deal. Justin F. profiled him here.
Sam Hinkie came from the Rockets, who by the end of last year wanted nothing to do with White. I assumed that Hinkie still had some faith in White, or maybe he knew what the fundamental disagreement involved and wanted to find ways to make it work. $1.7 million is a lot just to get the rights to a player who may never come over, though since the Sixers have money to spend and few assets to speak of, this deal still works for me.
But considering what little the Sixers have to work with, and considering that we could use all the useful players that we can get, I can't imagine that at least trying to work something out with White is out of the picture. He's undoubtedly talented, and even if he can only play 2/3rds of a season because of his travel restrictions that still could be better than paying off his salary to use hashtags during games.
For now, be on the lookout for a possible buyout of his deal, or at the very least expect the Sixers not to pick up his team option, which must be done by October. Rarely do first rounders not have their options picked up, though the Sixers recently declined to pick up the third-year option on the erstwhile Craig Brackins. It looks like Royce, like Brackins, may have trouble being unleashed.