SH Blog: Rockets suspend Royce White, plus John Wall is almost ready to return

  • The Rockets have suspended first-round pick Royce White. Here’s the AP story: ” The Houston Rockets have suspended first-round pick Royce White for “refusing to provide services” required by his contract. General manager Daryl Morey said Sunday that the team will continue to work with White in hopes of finding a resolution. Last week, White refused his assignment to Houston’s D-League affiliate. The 16th overall pick in the June draft has spent most of the season on Houston’s inactive list while he and the team figure out how to handle his anxiety disorder and overall mental health. The 6-foot-8 White missed the first week of training camp. He flew to Detroit with the team for the season opener and then traveled by bus to Atlanta and Memphis for games. But he soon stopped participating in team activities, saying his mental health took precedence over his NBA career.”
  • Re: Royce White. Uniform player contract includes services player is expected to provide. Breach of contract may include fines/suspensions.
    Jeff Zillgitt
  • Some other recommended reading on the White situation: the Twitter account of Jonathan Feigen, the Rockets beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, and also Royce White’s own Twitter. A couple different perspectives there, and lots of interesting tweets, too many of them to post here. Here’s a couple though:
    Not refusing #DLeague I'm refusing to work, AT ALL, until a protocol is put in that ensures #safety.. Doctors should make medical decisions.
    Royce White

    Asked about White last night, McHale said, "I have no idea." He didn't. Morey has dealt w situation alone to keep it from being distraction.
    Jonathan Feigen
  • Here’s some Anderson Varejao rumors, via the Morning Journal in northern Ohio: “Sources say the Cavs and Timberwolves have talked about a Varejao trade. Minnesota would probably want the Cavs to take back forward Derrick Williams, which could be a deal-breaker. The Cavs could have interest in center Nikola Pekovic, a bruising 6-11, 290-pounder.  Before anyone gets excited, forward Kevin Love is not available. … We wonder if Varejao’s mysterious knee injury will affect his trade value. The Cavs are calling it a “contusion.” One Brazilian newspaper said he had a torn quadriceps.  After this weekend, he’ll have missed nine games with the injury. There’s an outside chance he’ll play on Wednesday vs. Atlanta. That is predicated on whether he practices on Tuesday.”
  • It’s been a rough season for the Mavs, and Mark Cuban isn’t happy either, writes Tim MacMahon of “With his team eight games under .500 for the first time since his first few months as the Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban is firing away at one of his favorite targets: NBA officials. “Im sorry NBA fans. Ive tried for 13 yrs to fix the officiating in this league and I have failed miserably. Any Suggestions ? I need help,” Cuban tweeted after the Mavs’ 99-96 overtime loss Saturday night to the New Orleans Hornets, the team with the worst record in the Western Conference. After Vince Carter’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the rim and to the hardwood, Cuban marched to midcourt and engaged in an animated discussion with referee Bill Kennedy. Via email, Cuban declined to specify why he was upset with the officiating after the Mavs’ eighth loss in nine games or otherwise elaborate on the incident.”
  • Shawn Marion, though, doesn’t think it’s the officials:
    "We can’t guard nobody.'' -- #Mavs forward Shawn Marion after the 99-96 overtime loss to the #Hornets
    Dwain Price
  • Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star writes about what a potential Roy Hibbert return to form could mean for the Pacers, and how it could have started with the team’s win over the Bucks: “In the grand scheme, the Pacers — especially center Roy Hibbert — hope they can look back on Saturday as the night it happened. It being the moment Hibbert regained his offensive touch in the post. It being the moment that ended the questions about when Hibbert’s play will match the money ($58 million) the Pacers are paying him. You can only cross your fingers and hope. Hibbert had his best game in almost two months when he scored 20 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, including a career-high 11 offensive boards, and blocked five shots in the Pacers’ 95-80 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.”
  • Ben Bolch of the LA Times has a piece up on the leader of the Clippers’ outstanding bench, Jamal Crawford: “Crawford had scored 20 points or more 13 times prior to the Clippers’ game against Golden State on Saturday. He was particularly effective late in games, his 217 points in the fourth quarter trailing only Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. Bryant has endorsed Crawford for sixth man of the year since early November, praise that Crawford said was trumped only by teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin lobbying for him to be selected for next month’s All-Star Game in Houston. “It’s weird to even be coming off the bench and hear All-Star talk,” Crawford said. “That’s pretty cool.” Crawford has made being a reserve fashionable since he started doing it three years ago with the Hawks, averaging 18 points on the way to becoming the league’s sixth man of the year.”
  • Raymond Felton injury update from Al Iannazzone at Newsday: “Raymond Felton is relieved that he didn’t need surgery on his right hand and believes he can return in late January, the week after the Knicks return from London. Felton said if he had required surgery to repair the fracture in his right pinkie that he suffered Dec. 25 against the Lakers, he would have missed eight to 12 weeks because “they would have had to put in pins and screws.” No surgery made it four to six weeks. Felton is shooting for closer to four. “Once my bone heals, it’s probably up to my comfort,” he said. “Hopefully the bone will heal before we leave for London.” The Knicks are scheduled to fly to London Jan. 14. He’s targeting Boston on Jan. 24 or Philadelphia on Jan. 26.”

    Dan Malone is a third-year journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He blogs on weekends for Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on Twitter.

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