The second in a series of profiles of players that might be of interest to the Boston Celtics during the 2012 NBA Draft (June 28, ESPN, 7 p.m.):
Projection: Late first round (Insider rank: 23rd overall; Position rank: 5)
In the News: White hails from Minnesota, and 1500ESPN Twin Cities caught up with him and learned more about an anxiety disorder that he suffers from, which reportedly includes a fear of flying, which has been a turn-off to some teams who've eyed White as a possible prospect.
"They have a lot of questions about it, but at the same time, I am 100 percent honest," White told 1500ESPN's Dana Wessel. "I just tell them what I know, which is not much. I've only had it for three years, so I am still learning (about) it and everybody is still learning. I tell them what I know and be honest."
Michael C. Johnson/US Presswire
Royce White at work for Iowa State.Why the Celtics Want Him: White is a very athletic and aggressive player, who thrives in the open court. In other words, he'd be a great asset on the fast break with the likes of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley. While White is still very much a work in progress, particularly on the offensive end (he shot less than 50 percent from the free throw line in his only season at Iowa State), he's lauded as a terrific rebounder for his size and position. Rebounding has been a pitfall for Boston over the last few seasons, and bringing in a small forward prospect who can rebound like a power forward wouldn't be a bad move for a team in need of that kind of production.
Why the Celtics Don't Want Him: We've been saying for what feels like a decade now that next year is the year the Celtics will fall into a rebuilding mode of sorts, but Danny Ainge always finds a way to have his team back in contention. If that remains the case once again for the 2012-2013 campaign, and they take a flier out on a young player, they might want someone who's more polished on the offensive end who can help them avoid extended scoring droughts. Additionally, if the C's are once again contenders, it'll most likely be a roster of primarily proven veterans, and White has had some off-the-court troubles, and even though he's been up front about his anxiety disorder, the uncertainty over it could deter Boston. The Celtics won't be looking for any baggage if they're making another run for their 18th banner.