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Thursday, January 30, 2014
GM: Royce White worst Round 1 pick

ESPN.com news services

Royce White is the NBA draft's "worst first-round pick ever," according to the man who picked him.

Royce White
Royce White was the 16th pick in the 2012 draft but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey selected White with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft, but White has yet to appear in an NBA game.

"I take some sort of pride in that you could argue that Royce White is the worst first-round pick ever," Morey said in a Q&A discussion with Houston season ticketholders, according to the ClutchFans.net blog.

White, who is 6-foot-8, has struggled with an acknowledged anxiety disorder that would make it a challenge for him to play a full NBA season.

"He's the only one that never played a minute in the NBA that wasn't just a foreign guy staying in Europe," Morey said. "It just shows we swing for the fence."

Even though Morey considers the selection of White to be a blunder, the pick didn't hurt his career as a GM too much. The Rockets could afford to take a risk on White because they had three first-round picks in 2012. They already had drafted Jeremy Lamb with the 12th pick, then selected Terrence Jones with the 18th pick.

Houston dealt Lamb to Oklahoma City in the James Harden trade, while Jones is averaging 11.8 points per game for the Rockets this season.

Since being drafted, White has been vocal on Twitter, often criticizing the Rockets for downplaying his disorder.

The Rockets suspended White in January 2013 after he refused to accept an assignment to the NBA Development League, then traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers over the summer.

White, 22, averaged 5.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in five preseason games for the Sixers and did not make the team.