Thursday, June 24, 2010

NBA Draft Prospects: Daniel Orton, Kentucky

Click here to find all of our 2010 NBA Draft prospect breakdowns.

Stats: 3.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 13.2 mpg


  • Listed: 6'10", 260 lb, 19 yrs old
  • Combine: 6'9 3/4" (with shoes), 269 lb, 7'4 1/4" (wingspan)

About Him: With DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson dominating the minutes in the front court, and with John Wall and Eric Bledsoe hoisting up their fare share of shots during the season, Daniel Orton didn't get much of a chance to show himself during the season, averaging just 3 points and 3 boards in 13 minutes.

Its not difficult to see why Orton is such an intriguing prospect for NBA teams. At 19 years old, he is nearly 6'10" with a wingspan of more than 7'4". While most raw big man prospects are trying to put on strength and weight, Orton is already checking in at a solid 269 lb and sporting above average athleticism. He also runs the floor well, has quick feet, and excellent hands. In other words, his physical tools are ideal for an NBA post player.

That said, we have very little indication of what Orton can do with those tools. His most NBA ready skill is probably his shot blocking ability. His length and athleticism, combined with good timing and instincts, made Orton a defensive force down the stretch of the season.

Offensively, we have a very small sample size to base an opinion on for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is that Orton's role was basically to crash the offensive glass. That said, there were glimpses. He's a capable finisher around the rim thanks to his length and strength. He's can use his size to carve out space in the paint, and does have some (emphasis on some) footwork and post moves once he makes a catch in the post. And, like I said, he can go get an offensive rebound. There is reason to believe he could eventually be a good player on the offensive end of the floor in time.

Having said all that, its all still potential as Orton is raw in both his skills and his understanding of the game on the offensive end. He still doesn't quite know how to use his tools effectively, and could stand a healthy dose of toughness as well.

The question teams are going to have to ask themselves is how long it will take Orton to fulfill that potential. Is it worth a 1st round pick if he won't be ready to contribute until he's under contract with a different team? One aspect that could contribute here is Orton's inner circle. His father was reportedly involved heavily in Orton's recruitment, and now there are reports saying that Orton and his agent have had a falling out and that the player is once again taking the advice of his father.

  • Best Case Scenario: The two players that come to mind when discussing Orton are JJ Hickson and Marreese Speights, although both were much more accomplished at the collegiate level.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Isn't it obvious? Any draft out of the league in three years.
Outlook: Orton is all over the board. Some him at the back end of the 1st round, some have him dropping into the second round, and there are still reports that he could go 10th to the Pacers. For my money, Orton seems like to big of a risk without enough upside to warrant a 1st round pick. If you are picking outside of the lottery, there are plenty of players that can contribute immediately to an NBA team in playoff contention.


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