Kings coach Michael Malone noted Royce White’s strength, basketball IQ and passing as positive attributes after his first practice with the Kings.
White’s passing could be a boost to the Kings during his stay. White is on his second 10-day contract.
Provided all goes well, the Kings will likely sign him for the rest of the season with a plan to work with him through summer league and heading into training camp next season.
The Kings are last in the NBA, averaging 19 assists. Even in an overtime game in which Isaiah Thomas had 10 assists, the Kings had just 18 as a team.
It’s unrealistic to expect White to change the passing culture of the Kings, especially a new player essentially here on an extended tryout, but the more players the Kings have that are willing to pass, the better.
“That’s the type of atmosphere I like to play in, type of game I like to play in,” White said. “Unselfish and really pass up good shots for great shots. If I could help that I’d really love to be a part of that adjustment and progress.”
If White is around next season, seeing how to use his passing skills to improve the offense would be a logical part of the plan.
White averaged five assists in his final season at Iowa State in 2011-12.
White on why the Kings were the right team for him:
“The people, the situation and the organization. For me, finding a good fit was a lot about the organization, the way they do things and those types of things. Pete (D’Alessandro has) been great so far and Mully (Chris Mullin) a great voice to me so I’m just excited to have those good people around me right now.”
White has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, so finding a team willing to work with his condition, which includes a fear of flying was key.
Working with White is not impossible. White did fly on airplanes in college, but never reached an agreement with Houston, which drafted him in 2012 in the first round, on how to best address his mental health concerns.
“I’m in the best shape of my life actually. I’m down to 260, 10 percent body fat. I can’t ask for anything better than that.”
White is 6-foot-8.
“I just want to work hard and execute what they ask of me. Like today, I didn’t know any of the plays so I just tried to do stuff on the fly and do the best I can.”
He never played for Houston.
Landry is expected to fully recover in time for next season. Landry has been out since Feb. 28 with the injury.
Landry was limited to 18 games this season because a torn left hip flexor and the knee injury.