Royce White came to workout for the Timberwolves just last week. The workout went well — not spectacular — but maybe just good enough to tip Kahn’s hand at taking him with the 18th pick of this year’s draft.
Word from ESPN’s Chad Ford is that White, as of yesterday, has cancelled the rest of his workouts with other teams. Ford tweeted yesterday,”He’s pulled out of all remaining workouts and gone silent. Not injured.”
The only explanation for White’s sudden hiatus means that he must’ve gotten a promise from a team he’s pretty happy with in the first round. Draft promises are sticky situations. Who’s to say what opportunities present themselves on draft night in terms of players falling or even trades? Things can change very quickly and that promise your team just made may end up wrecking everything up.
So who’s stupid enough to promise White a selection?
Perhaps it was David Kahn and the Timberwolves.
Since working out here last week, White has been enamored with the idea of playing for the Wolves. Minneapolis is White’s homecity, and there’s almost no better feeling than coming home to play for the team that you idolized and rooted for growing up. White’s workout here was good but his interview was better. Since the workout process started, White has been very open and honest about his anxiety disorder since revealing the truth mid-way through the college season.
Head coach at Iowa State, Fred Hoiberg, has also been outright and truthful about his former player. Hoiberg believes that White’s game is best-suited for the NBA, as long as any coach is willing to buy in to White’s unorthodox style of playing the point as a power forward. And because Hoiberg, a former player and exec for the Timberwolves, has such close ties to Minnesota, there may be some hidden information that he’s given Kahn that no other team has received.
That’s all speculation at this point, even the promise, but there is something fishy going on, even if it’s not with Minnesota. According to Ford, both the Celtics and Hawks have come to like White’s talents, as well as the Warriors. But none of them are in the right position to actually take him, except the Warriors at 7, which may be a little high. Instead, the Wolves, sitting at pick 18, are in prime real estate to take White. So even if that promise came from a team below the Wolves’ pick, there may be a wrinkle in their plans already, unless they plan on trading up for him.
The Wolves really do have a great pick with 18. There are many options available. Trades will be flying and it could surely get moved as a casualty. Or they could stay-put and take a flier on someone with great talent like White and see what he can do; he’s certainly the type of player that, if his head is on right, can replace Michael Beasley’s output plus more. It’s a good time to be a Wolves fan.