Royce White: Why Houston Rockets First-Rounder Will Make NBA All-Rookie Team

Stephen SheehanCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2012

Royce White is talented enough to earn big minutes as a rookie.
Royce White is talented enough to earn big minutes as a rookie.Nick Laham/Getty Images

If Royce White gets his head on straight and plays up to his immense capabilities, the Houston Rockets' second first-round pick will earn a spot on the NBA All-Rookie team. 

That's a giant caveat for someone with well-documented anxiety issues (via Sports Illustrated), but the guy is just too talented to count out. 

The Rockets did some serious work on draft day, selecting three players in the first round. After taking Connecticut shooting guard Jeremy Lamb with the 12th pick, the Rockets scooped up White with the 16th choice. 

Despite his all-world potential, White's battle with anxiety disorder and some off-court issues left his draft stock pretty volatile. Fortunately for the Rockets, they managed to find a potential gem in the 6'8" power forward. 

If all goes well, White's potential will be realized sooner than later. 

Blessed with a strong frame, great movement skills and rare ball-handling skills for a big man, White has all the physical tools necessary to be an immediate impact player. 

In just one year at Iowa State, White thoroughly dominated the competition, leading his team in points (13.4), rebounds (9.3), assists (5.0), steals (1.2) and blocks (0.9). Not too shabby for a 21-year-old. 

Between his physical skill set and the Rockets' needs, it shouldn't take White long to break into the starting lineup. 

One of White's biggest strengths is his length and overall size. According to his profile on, the Minnesota native weighs 261 pounds and boasts a 7'0" wingspan and an 8'8.5" standing reach. He could stand to lose a few pounds, however, as he checked in with 10.6 percent body fat. 

Based on his game film, the former Cyclone utilizes that length both on the glass as a rebounder and in the paint as a low-post scorer. However, his game isn't limited to just doing the dirty work. 

White displays excellent footwork and movement skills for a big man, allowing him to score from pretty much any spot on the floor. 

At Iowa State, White acted as a point-forward, often moving the ball up the court and facilitating the offense. The Rockets imported Jeremy Lin for $25 million to handle the point, so White shouldn't have to put the team on his back like he did in college.

With Lin facilitating and Kevin Martin as the only reliable scorer, White should earn playing time based on his ability to put the ball in the basket. 

Earning big minutes should give him the chance to garner interest around the league, as Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson are the only other rookie power forwards who could match White's offensive potential this season. 

In addition to his scoring ability, White's strong work on the glass should also endear him to fans and guys around the league. 

Even though he might face competition from fellow first-rounder Terrence Jones, expect White to win out because of his more complete game. 

He may not have the name recognition or fanfare of Anthony Davis, but based on his offensive skill set, White has a legitimate shot at making the NBA All-Rookie team. 

For a kid who's battling for more than just playing time, it would be a well-deserved honor.