The Kings signed forward Royce White to a second 10-day contract Tuesday, but White will have to wait at least until Friday to make his NBA debut.
White, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward, was inactive for Tuesday night’s game against Washington. White joined the team after going directly to the D-League’s Reno Bighorns upon signing his first 10-day contract, while the Kings were on a seven-game trip.
White will practice with the Kings for the first time today. The Kings have two days off before hosting San Antonio on Friday, and coach Michael Malone said his hope is that “we’ll be able to get (White) into a game in the near future.”
“This is just an opportunity for us to evaluate him as a basketball player,” Malone said. “The reality is when you haven’t played for as long as he hasn’t played, it’s going to takea while to get back. But he’s been working hard, which is great, so I’m anxious to get a chance to work with him the next couple of days and see where this goes.”
White, who was waived by Philadelphia following the preseason, averaged 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in 24.8 minutes in four games in Reno. The 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft by Houston, White never played for the Rockets amid friction between the two sides over White’s generalized anxiety disorder.
Rest days – Malone said he might consider giving point guard Isaiah Thomas more rest over the final month of the season, similarly to how he rested DeMarcus Cousins against Minnesota on Sunday.
Cousins, who was back in the Kings’ lineup against the Wizards, had been nursing a sore knee and “could’ve played (at Minnesota), but I didn’t see why he should,” Malone said. “He’d been … giving us all he had, and I think his body needed a little bit of rest.”
Thomas leads the Kings in minutes this season (he’d played 2,333 before Tuesday), and has been playing through an injury to his left wrist. Malone said he believes the wrist is “bothering (Thomas) a lot more than I think he’ll ever admit, because that’s the kind of kid he is. He’s a warrior.”
“We have to continue to see (guards) Ray (McCallum) and Ben (McLemore) play a lot more, so there may be some nights where maybe we should start Ray,” Malone said. “We’ll kind of address that as we move forward.”
Et cetera – Guard Orlando Johnson is no longer with the Kings after his second 10-day contract expired Monday and the team opted not to sign him for the rest of the season. Johnson appeared in seven games for the Kings, totaling nine points and four rebounds on 3-of-17 shooting in 50 minutes.