The Sacramento Kings took a chance on former first-round pick Royce White on Thursday, signing the one-time Iowa State star to a 10-day contract.
According to the team’s website, White has been assigned to the Kings’ NBA Development League affiliate in Reno.
White was the 16th overall pick in 2012 by the Houston Rockets, but the Minneapolis native struggled with a fear of flying. He missed training camp and was suspended in January 2013 after refusing a second assignment to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League.
He has yet to play in an NBA game. In 16 games at Rio Grande Valley in 2012-13, he averaged 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 25.6 minutes per game.
White’s troubles stretch back further than his days as a pro, however. He was suspended for his entire freshman season at Minnesota in 2009-10 after pleading guilty to theft and disorderly conduct in connection with an incident at Mall of America in Minneapolis. He sat out the season and then transferred to Iowa State for the 2011-12 season. He went on to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection after averaging 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, five assists and 1.2 steals for the Cyclones, helping them to a 23-11 record and a trip to the NCAA tournament, where they beat defending champion Connecticut in the second round before falling to eventual champ Kentucky in the third round.
Last July, the Rockets traded White to the Philadelphia 76ers with the rights to Turkish big man Furkan Aldemir for future draft considerations. The Sixers waived White in the preseason.