Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Orlando Pinstriped Post turns its attention to the 2012 NBA Draft with a look at mid-tier draft prospects who might be available when the Orlando Magic select 19th overall. Previously in the series: Meyers Leonard, Terrence Jones, Arnett Moultrie, Moe Harkless, Doron Lamb, Tony Wroten, Jeffery Taylor, Andrew Nicholson, Marquis Teague, Kendall Marshall, and Perry Jones.
Royce White is a 6' 8" 261 pound power forward, who is more suited for small forward in the NBA, and played one season for the Iowa State Cyclones. He led the team in scoring, averaging 13.4 points per game on 53.4% field goal shooting, 33.3% three-point shooting, and 49.8% free throw shooting. White added 9.3 rebounds per game, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 3.8 turnovers per game. The Minnesota native turned 21 years old in April. White had nine double-doubles over the course of the season, with a high-point game of 25 and a high-rebound game of 18, and scored 23 points with 9 rebounds in the Cyclones' loss to eventual national champion Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA tourney.Before breaking down White's strengths and weaknesses, it must be noted that White was diagnosed with anxiety disorder in high school, which prevented him from signing with Kentucky. The mental illness has been a challenge for White to deal with since he was diagnosed with it, but he's managed the illness with professional help and medication.
Hoopshype.com, in their evaluation of White, raves about White's strength and ability to handle and pass like a guard. Walker Beeken of draftexpress.com writes similar sentiments, saying that White moves very well for a player his size, with excellent mobility and fluidity. Beeken also notes that White is very comfortable operating in the post, is willing to find his teammates for open looks, and is also able to create for himself. Beeken goes on to say that White displays excellent footwork, and uses his strong body, soft touch, and excellent body control to finish at the rim.
Defensively, even though White is an excellent rebounder, his lack of size and elevation may limit him as a defender in the basket area, and his extra weight limits his lateral quickness and ability to step out and defend on the perimeter. Also he seems to coast defensively from time to time, according to Beeken.
The downside to White's creativity on offense is that he's very turnover prone and tends to get carried away making wild passes. In addition, he needs to improve as a jump shooter to add another dimension to his offensive game, and also needs to improve his dismal free throw shooting, Beeken writes, while noting that White has solid mechanics, and could turn into a reliable perimeter shooter if he puts in the work.
The Orlando Magic could use a versatile player with the ability to create his own shots, and also create for teammates, like White has shown. White's high skill level and upside should also interest the Magic. It would be a roll of the dice, though, for the Magic or any team to draft White because of his anxiety disorder, his past legal issues (he pled guilty to theft and disorderly conduct after an incident in 2009) and also concerns about his defense and conditioning level. The fact that White will likely not be given as much freedom on offense as he was at Iowa State may also hinder his NBA game.