We’re all looking for Dwight Howard news, but information on another player these days is even more difficult to come by.
While the Rockets won’t comment whatsoever about Royce White, ClutchFans has learned that Royce hasn’t worked out with the team at all this summer. In fact, the 6-foot-8 forward hasn’t been seen working out with players at the Toyota Center since that first road trip last season. So while there has been no official word from anyone with the team, it’s highly unlikely that you will see him play for the Rockets in the Orlando Summer League starting July 7th.
To add insult to injury, the second-year forward out of Iowa State, who took leave from both the Rockets and Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season, posted this on Twitter on Sunday.
A lot of talk… "Cut Royce", "Trade Royce", only a few players with my skill set in the WHOLE league… everybody knows it. #RedNation
— Royce White (@Highway_30) June 30, 2013
The dilemma here is two-fold for the Rockets. Not only is Royce costing the Rockets precious cap room in their pursuit of Howard, but someone is going to be cut or dumped because of his guaranteed spot. So while Royce is popping Pringles at home in front of his laptop, players are in the Toyota Center gym trying to make this team — and one (or more) will lose that opportunity in Houston because of the situation.
So the strong hunch now is that the Rockets will attempt to unload White by attaching an asset or two to his contract to make it worthwhile for another team. Another option for the Rockets, as David Weiner wrote in his cap update on Monday, is to use the stretch provision to waive him and lighten the $1.72 million cap hit he’s currently taking on the books for next season.
To make up the difference needed to get to “Dwight Max Room” ($20.51 million), the team could potentially waive White using the “stretch” provision, which enables teams to stretch out a waived player’s cap hit over twice the number of years remaining on the player’s contract, plus one (in White’s case, his lone remaining guaranteed year could be stretched out over three seasons). Waiving White would net the Rockets an additional $656,140 in cap room.
Either way, expect a resolution soon because right now, it’s a safe bet that Royce White will never wear a Rockets uniform again.