No draft prospect’s stock is perhaps as volatile as former Iowa State point-forward Royce White, who’s been rumored to fall anywhere from the late lottery to the early second round. White led a solid Cyclones team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and field goal percentage last season as a dominant college forward with unquestionable ability as an impact pro player. But NBA evaluators are rightfully concerned about his many off the court issues — getting kicked off his first team (Minnesota), having trouble staying in shape, and, most importantly, his well-known anxiety disorder. Scouts fear that his personality traits could hinder his development and make it difficult for him to adapt to fast-moving changes at the next level. But this week at the NBA Draft Combine, White had a chance to speak face-to-face with league executives and draft scouts through the interrogation process, and he was phenomenal in the interview room. White was one of the best overall public speakers of the group, but more importantly he was refreshingly honest and insightful with answers to specific questions about his anxiety and his game. If NBA teams pass on White solely because of attitude concerns, that’s a mistake based on how well he carried himself in the interview room.
Overall, White was hands down the best interview in Chicago. Most prospects simply try not to hurt themselves during the interview process and choose to answer with standard player clichés: “I’ll do anything the team wants me to […] I can play any position […] My shot is better than I showed last season.” But White gave honest answers to every question, coming off as a confident young man that understands himself and his game. “Very mediocre; average,” said White about his jump shot. “Hopefully I can have the ball in my hands, I kind of proved that I’m good doing it. But if I don’t, that’s fine as well,” he said when asked about having to play off the ball in the league.