Over the next 16 days, we’re going to be ranking the Thunder roster, 1-16. Each day we’ll reveal a new ranking and a player. We’d enjoy your feed back by using the hashtag “#ThunderRank” on Facebook or Twitter. Alright, alright, you’re all waiting.. here it is! PS: Grant Jerrett is ineligible for the list due to he remains unsigned with the Thunder.
#15 – Daniel Orton
The conundrum that is Daniel Orton comes in at no. 15 on our #ThunderRank. A lot of fans think that Orton has some real potential, being that this is only his third year. I mean, that’s possible, we’ve really yet to see any real progress outside of summer league. He struggled in Tulsa for the 66ers at times, and that’s against lesser talent.
Orton, the Oklahoma City native, is a popular fan pick at times because he’s most likely mistaken for Russell Westbrook. Then people usually go back to forgetting about him and his bad suits. However, outside of those two things, he’s a pretty forgettable player.
As we mentioned, Orton played for the Thunder during the Orlando Pro Summer League. He played pretty well for the week until he went down with an ankle injury. He came back, almost like he didn’t miss a beat. Oklahoma City ran their offense through him when he was on the court and averaged almost a double-double. Can’t take too much of it because it is after all, just summer league. However, his mechanics, and the ability to attack the rim were much improved.
He’s also one of four players on the roster who are playing on non-guaranteed money. That means, his money isn’t guaranteed if there is an injury or if he is released until he’s officially made the regular season roster. Because of this, Daniel Orton is a viable candidate to be released since the Thunder are sitting at 16 players. They need to drop to 15 players before the regular season starts. (Actually, Oklahoma City has 17 players on their roster, Grant Jerrett remains unsigned, will probably be unsigned until late September).
The kid is young and that’s what a lot of Thunder fans are banking on with Orton. Kendrick Perkins is doing a lot of nothing lately, so Thunder fans think that Orton will be the next center to be able to replace Perk. However, he’s still a work in progress and because of that, he’s at the bottom of list.
One thing about the list and this team all together, it’s very young. Orton in his third year is young, so he is no. 15. Maybe if he can make the roster, he can move up. However, he’s right on the cusp of the official roster and it’s going to be tough to make it. He’ll be interesting to watch.