|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Iowa State PF Royce White||06.19.12 at 4:49 pm ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Power forward
School: Iowa State
Weight: 261 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-America honorable mention (AP), 2012 All-Big 12 first team, 2012 Big 12 All-Rookie team
Key 2011-12 stats: 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5 assists, 53.4 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 49.8 FT%
What he brings: White is a unique talent in this year’s draft. At 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, his size and strength make him an excellent rebounder. But White also maintains the quickness and ball-handling ability of a much smaller player, making him a matchup nightmare for many power forwards. Perhaps White’s most impressive skills however, are his court vision and passing ability. Asked to dominate the ball as a point forward at Iowa State, White was able to showcase his tremendous versatility, becoming the only Division 1 player to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.
However, his shooting consistency has been questioned, even though he shot a respectable 53.4 percent from the field last season. He hit just 49.8 percent from the line.
Defensively, White struggles to switch quickly on the pick and roll and has trouble defending taller players in the post but he has both the quickness and the strength to improve in each.
Where the Celtics could get him: White is projected to go in the mid-to-late first round. A player as talented as White would certainly be worth a look if still available, particularly given his rebounding ability and athleticism.
Notes: The biggest drag on White’s draft value is a history of off-court issues. White suffers from an anxiety disorder, to which he attributes numerous incidents during his freshman year at the University of Minnesota. Those issues — including a guilty plea to theft and disorderly conduct and separate charges of trespassing in connection to an alleged theft of a laptop computer from a university dorm — led White to transfer to Iowa State in February 2010, forcing him to sit out all of 2010-11. As a redshirt sophomore he still had two remaining years of eligibility when he declared for the draft in March. While concerns over his past remain, he has certainly helped his stock recently, earning tremendous praise from scouts and GMs for his openness and maturity in pre-draft interviews.
Video: Here’s a highlight mix of White.