2012, 16th overall pick: Royce White → Draymond Green (pick from NY)
While Houston made out like bandits with their first pick in the 2012 draft, their selection four spots later was a definitive flop. Here’s a summary of White’s total time in the NBA, in statistical form:
- 9 minutes, two personal fouls, one field goal attempt
That’s it. So what exactly did the Rockets see in Royce White to make them take him 16th overall? In one season at Iowa State, White averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game, demonstrating an ability to do a little bit of everything on the court.
Unfortunately, his generalized anxiety disorder caused him to fear flying, which is obviously a big part of NBA life. As a result, White never saw a minute of action for the Rockets and just nine total minutes of NBA action overall.
“I take some sort of pride that you could argue that Royce White is the worst first-round pick ever,” once said Daryl Morey. It’s hard to disagree with him.
It’s especially tough to know Houston ended up with White when they could’ve drafted Draymond Green, who was selected 35th overall by the Warriors. Draymond has become a key piece in some of the greatest teams ever assembled, winning three titles with Steph Curry and the Warriors.
Green has also made five NBA All-Defensive teams, been named Defensive Player of the Year, and was selected to three straight All-Star games from 2015-18. His toughness and versatility on the court would have given the Rockets a completely different look if he was taken over Royce.
Next: No. 3 & 4