Daniel Orton’s current contract with the Sixers is non-guaranteed, meaning that the team can still cut ties with him, but the former Kentucky Wildcat may very well stick with the team heading into the season.
The Sixers, a team made up of a plethora of unproven players, including many guards, desperately need big bodies. Kwame Brown and flattop phenom Nerlens Noel are both out indefinitely. Royce White’s fear of flying may limit his availability to the team, and Lavoy Allen is overweight, or oversleeping, or some combination thereof.
In short, the Sixers need size, and the 6’10’’, 275 pound Orton offers that, if little else at this point.
“He is a big man that is mobile,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said of the center.
“It is obvious that we need some height and some bulk that he provides. It is just a matter of time before we learn where we can slot him in.”
Orton has yet to make a splash in the league since being selected 29th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2010 NBA Draft after only a single season at Kentucky. He is only 23 however, and certainly still has the opportunity to improve; an opportunity that may be afforded to him due to the Sixers’ dearth of depth.
The Orton addition fits well into the precedent of adding low-risk/high-reward players that Sam Hinkie has established since he first set foot in Philly. If Orton doesn’t pan out, it doesn’t hurt the Sixers in the short, or long term. If he plays solidly for the Sixers however, he could be used as a building block for the franchise going forward, or as trade bait.
Orton showed some potential in the D-League last season, averaging 12 points and almost 8 rebounds in 28 minutes of action per game for the Tulsa 66ers. If he can harness some of this potential into production then Orton could find himself in the Sixers’ rotation this season.