Taking A Look At Daniel Orton


The Magic surprised many by taking Daniel Orton, a Center out of Kentucky, with the 29th overall pick. Orton didn’t see a lot of action during his one and only season as a Wildcat.

Orton measured in at 6′ 8.5 without shoes on and weighs 269 lbs. He’s a big body with a lot of talent. When he was a senior in high school, he was listed as the 22nd best player in the country and was labeled as a 5-star prospect by Rivals.com. He also was mulling an offer from national power Kansas before signing with Kentucky.

By John Hollinger’s calculations, Orton was the 14th best player in the draft.

After the jump, we’ll take a closer look at Orton.*


It’s tough to take much from Orton’s numbers because he played just 13.2 minutes per game and never played more than 23 minutes in a single game. In that game, he put up 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds but it was against an overmatched Rider team. Orton’s only other double digit scoring game was a 10-point performance against Hartford. In Orton’s best game, a Kentucky win at Florida, he scored just 2 points but managed to grab 9 rebounds and block 4 shots.

When you look at Orton, the first thing you notice is that he is a big guy. He has a reputation as a solid rebounder and shot-blocker. He has very good athleticism for a guy his size and has a big wingspan (7’4.25).

Here is what Draft Express had to say about his potential.

"Nevertheless, he dropped some small but intriguing glimpses of potential from time to time, particularly as the season moved on and his comfort level seemingly increased. Orton can carve out space in the post with his huge frame, create shots for himself with some interesting spin moves, shows very nice touch around the basket, and finishes extremely well at the rim thanks to his outstanding length and strength. He even stepped outside on rare occasions and knocked down a 15-foot jumper, displaying solid mechanics in the process. While he didn’t do any of this on a consistent basis, for a variety of reasons, it would not be accurate to say that he’s completely clueless offensively at this point in time.With that said, Orton still has a long ways to go on this end, as his skill-level is unpolished and his decision making can be extremely poor—often looking like he can’t wait to shoot the ball as soon it reached his hand, and throwing up some very questionable looks in turn. While he gets to the line at a decent rate, he only converts 53% of his attempts once there, showing that he still has plenty of room for improvement with this part of his game. He has no left hand, is a poor ball-handler and lacks considerable experience on this end of the floor. He doesn’t quite know how to use his body as effectively as he possibly could, and doesn’t always show the type of toughness and intensity you look for from a player fighting for minutes on a crowded roster."

This is obviously a pick based on potential and Otis Smith even said Orton was not a guy they’d have to play right away. With the right development, this could turn out to be a worthwhile pick.

If you’d like to follow Orton on twitter, click here.

*Statistics provided by Ken Pomeroy.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor on the Fansided Front Page. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).