With the start of the exhibition season less than two weeks away, power forward Royce White is currently in the Philadelphia area, and all signs point to him taking part in the 76ers' training camp which kicks off on Saturday.
#Sixers Brown on Royce White: 'He is here. He's slowly getting to a level where we want him to be. I want to give him our best shot.'— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) September 25, 2013
The news isn't entirely surprising: A scan of White's Twitter account shows that he was a participant in the team's voluntary off-season workouts earlier this month. However, the former first-round pick has a well-documented fear of flying as he suffers from both obsessive compulsive disorder and a generalized anxiety disorder.
Philadelphia acquired the oft-maligned White in a trade with the Houston Rockets this past July, but the consensus at the time was that Turkish forward Furkan Aldemir (who was also included in the deal) was the primary target for new general manager Sam Hinkie.
Last season, White missed the first week of training camp as he and the Rockets failed to reach a consensus on a mental health plan. Further disagreements eventually led to Houston suspending White in January, but the 6'8" forward eventually accepted an assignment to the NBA Development League. In 16 games with the Rio Grande Vipers, White averaged 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 25.6 minutes per game.
If White and the Sixers can agree on a mental health protocol that enables him to travel to games, the 22-year-old forward could be an intriguing asset on a team that lacks an abundance of proven talent. White's fear of flying will be put to the test soon enough: Next week, the Sixers will leave for Europe for a pair of exhibition games in Spain and England.
"It's exciting to see what could happen" with Royce White, said Brett Brown. "I want to pay attention to him." #sixers— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) September 25, 2013
White's playing status wasn't the only thing keeping him in the headlines this summer. Three weeks ago, reports surfaced that White was the focus of a domestic violence investigation, and last week, ESPN named White the worst player in the NBA.