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Chad Ford Says Daniel Orton Could Go Top Ten


ESPN’s Draft Insider Chad Ford did a chat today and was asked about the draft prospects of Daniel Orton. Here is what he said:

Drew (Wichita, KS)

Looks like Orton is in the draft for good…What do you think is the eariliest he could go in the draft? Is it possible 5 Wildcats go in the lottery?

Chad Ford (1:38 PM)

Yes. It’s possible. I’ve been writing for weeks that NBA GMs are very high on Orton. I wrote today in the draft blog that the Thunder (who have 2 first round picks) are his floor. They’d take him with one of their picks. But they’re drafting in the early 20s. He could go a lot higher than that. Top 10 isn’t out of the question. Crazy for a guy who averaged 3 ppg. But you know how gaga NBA GMs get over size.

Pretty amazing. If Ford’s analysis is true and Orton’s hometown team would not let him slip, then Daniel will have made the right choice.

Article written by Matt Jones

78 responses to “Chad Ford Says Daniel Orton Could Go Top Ten”

  1. Waitin' on 8

    I wish him the best.

  2. hambone

    Good Luck Daniel. It was a pleasure having you here. I know we as fans look at what is best for us but you doing what is best for you is great and i for one wish you all the success in the world.

  3. brad

    i wish he would stay (we could definitely use him next year). but i certainly hope he has success wherever he lans next year.

  4. TheCaliparinator

    Wish him ALL the best unless he doesnt finish school and costs us a scholly….at which point i will come back on here and wish him something much different.

  5. CATS!!

    Good Luck D. O.!! We’ll miss ya!

  6. No! It's Mingue, MORON

    Good luck man.

  7. Big Blue

    Keep in mind he would be Top5 if he stayed through the next year. This is the Blake Griffin saga all over again with DO being 3 picks lower than Griffin

  8. Frosty Tips

    I just don’t get it. At all. Been evaluating talent for YEARS and did not see this one coming … next year, yes, but he didn’t even show a single post move the entire season.

  9. TheCaliparinator

    One more thing at an avg. of 3 and 3 he is top ten? What would a yr of starter minutes do for his stock. I understand the size love but Thabeet is huge…….how is that working out?

  10. Addigity

    A lot of NBA scouts like Orton better than Cole Aldrich. It’s all about the upside. Aldrich may be better than Orton now, but in three years?

  11. WildcatDJ

    Nice. That would be a perfect scenario for Daniel to play for Oklahoma.

    Good luck to him.

  12. Roll on Two

    Daniel do yourself a favor and don’t hire an agent – leave all options / opportunities open! Good luck big fella either way – would love to have you back for one more year big guy – guarantee yourself a top 5 pick!

  13. UK_Chris

    Most GM’s must be booger eating morons then. That, or they drink a lot during the day.

  14. MEWH


  15. UKfanNKY

    WOW!!! I must agree with post #8. Good luck Daniel. The NBA must be hurting for Players. GO CATS!!!!!

  16. SavannahCat

    7) Really? Stay for one year to move up 1-5 spots? He has a bum knee. If he can go top 10, he has to go.

  17. Perfect Patterson

    That’s awesome! How about five UK lottery picks? I think even Billy could recruit the top of the class with that pitch!

  18. MEWH

    He’s gone, and isn’t coming back. He would have stayed on campus and worked out with the staff if there was a possibility of him returning. He wants to go, and there is a lock-out looming in 2011.

  19. kevin

    WONT HAPPEN IN TOP 5……..NO WAY……This is what kills me about the talking heads of the NBA.

  20. CadizCat

    I would go if I was in his position, and so would you.

  21. Horatio

    4 – I’m with you.

  22. SavannahCat

    8) I understand Orton much more than Bledsoe. Orton is 6’10”, very good defender, quick, decent touch, and is very strong. Bledsoe is a 6’0″ shooting guard(if you say point, you obviously did not watch him dribble this year), with an inconsistant set shot.

  23. uk...

    Wow…5 players in top 15 would be CRAZY|

  24. MEWH

    He’s a #15-25 pick, which is a pretty sweet gig considering his putrid #’s.

  25. SavannahCat

    Isn’t there a rule about signing a max of 12 or so players over two years? If so, how are we going to field a team?



  27. Addigity

    Matt Jones has already bought tickets for Maui and we don’t even know what the roster will look like yet.

  28. LexJim

    #25) No rule anymore.

  29. MEWH

    22) Bledsoe has only John Wall in front of him in the point pool, which makes him more appealing to GM’s. If he waits a year, he probably has to deal with more competition. And the $ won’t be as good next year.

  30. Shakfu

    From an interview on hoopsworld with Jonathan Givony of, pretty interesting stuff and I wish DO the best. (

    Jeremy in UK:
    did Daniel Orton make a mistake by entering? he could be the focal point for KU next season, like what happen to Cole Aldrich. also, is Eric Bledsoe thinking about entering?

    Jonathan Givony:
    Hello everyone.

    That’s a difficult question to answer.

    It could very well be that Orton feels like he’s not interested in being a student-athlete, and that he’s ready to devote all of his time to being a pro. The fact that he can get his rookie scale contract clock started a year early is a major benefit, especially with the uncertainty of a lockout looming. As long as he doesn’t mind being picked in the second half of the first round, it’s tough to fault a guy for going pro rather than staying in college and playing for “free.”

    After watching his film, I believe that Orton is a lot better than his numbers indicate. I was shocked to see how much more fundamentally sound and polished he is than I perceived before studying him in a really in-depth manner.

    We all saw what happened with Da’Sean Butler in the Final Four last week, and I have a very tough time criticizing these guys for deciding to cash in on their physical potential with how small of a shelf there often is for them to actually make money.

    I could probably write a book about this…there are so many variables that go into each decision. The bottom line is that every one of these guys needs to do their research, weigh the pros and cons and make up their mind on their own.

    There is no right or wrong answer…

    Bledsoe will be in the draft I believe. I’m a lot more skeptical about him actually.

  31. jhmlex

    I guess that’s where you see a seperation in the different players. I can see both sides. I agree with #2, but then you have to think about this: Wall knows that he’s #1-2, but also knows that he is treated as absolute royalty by BBN. Even with that 1-2 pick locked (save room for Boogie at 1) he hasn’t fully committed to the draft (agent etc.). Now my theory is because he knows that the money is going to be there. Yes there is a risk of injury if he returns, but I think he understands the reward(s) that would come from “ONE MORE YEAR”. Like I said, I can see both sides of the arguement, and I (and hopefully the rest of BBN) will support DO in whatever decision he makes. I just hope he has fully weighed what returning (and possibly becomming a Kentucky legend) would mean for him. And if ya want to talk money…there’s a couple of Range Rovers and a few Rolex’s difference in a top 10-20 pick versus a top 5 pick.

  32. Tobias Funke

    Scouts are WOWED at Orton’s uncanny ability to goaltend at the most inopportune times.

  33. Bluecalizone

    Unbelievable. I hope it’s true for the kids sake, and I mean no disrespect, but ARE YOU SERIOUS? Are we the only school that has any players coming out or what? I mean seriously,,,,we could have 5 players in the top 20,,,,4 in the top 10??? This to me, is just mind blowing. I need alcohol.

  34. LexJim

    I find it absurd that Orton will be a first round choice this year. If he goes he will be like many of the prior HS kids who went early, sat for 3 years until their contract expired, and are now playing in Europe. No fundamentals = no job in NBA.

  35. SavannahCat

    28) Thanks. Did they name that the Calipari amendment?

  36. actually

    wish Orton all the best … you are pro-ready when some GM says you are … take of your school business and there will be no complaints on my end

  37. LexJim

    35) Lute Olson, I think!

  38. AlanHangover

    As much as us fans would love to have him & Bledsoe back next season, they need to do what is best for them and their families. Seems crazy to me, but no crazier than drafting guys straight out of HS. Evaluating talent, and projecting them as pros, is a crap-shoot. There is no guarantee, despite what is being said. OK City won’t have to draft him, despite what is supposedly being said. It’s also not guaranteed that coming back would help him move up in the draft next year. If he came back and had a monster season, then he moves up. He comes back, and has an only a decent season, he could stay the same, or even fall. Another year w/ Coach Cal would tend to help him, IMO – but nothing is certain in this whole thing.

  39. Maddman

    Best of Luck to Daniel, you cant blame him if he goes in the top 20.

  40. Barold

    Maybe we’re not destined for year after year of 5 guys leaving. Maybe it’s just a mediocre draft this year and these guys see $$$.

  41. jhmlex

    I’d also like to add that DO leaving could very well be beneficial to UK. Top recruits seeing him drafted high without much playing time or numbers wouldn’t be as deterred to play with another top player at their position. Hell, if Wall, Bledsoe, Boogie, and DO go top 10, what’s stopping us from getting the top 1-5 recruits at each position for years to come?

  42. JFrank

    Did they watch him play this year? This is ridiculous. Top ten pick? If that’s the case thi is the worst draft ever in the NBA

  43. Just Wondering

    Is anyone else getting the dook national championship tee-shirt ads on the side bar of this page. Awesome. A dook grad must be in charge of placing Google ads. 🙂

  44. Sage

    Some advice for Daniel Orton: “Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

  45. RexEffect

    it halarious how these GMs love to “talk” about players, until its actually time to pull the trigger on draft day…why is it so hard for everyone to see its all a game.??..they want as many as these guys to declare as possible…this way, the pool is larger, and they have a better shot of getting the player “they really want”… top 10??? sorry chad, not this year, not in a million years… dont fall for the trick Daniel…be a top 5 pick next year…when your in the top 5 on every mock draft board (i.e. COUSINS), they u feel comfortable, get your payday, and know you made the right decision…

  46. Addigity

    Signed Deshaun Butler.

  47. Bluecalizone

    I wonder what the highest 5 picks for one team in a single year is? I mean we’re talking possibly: #1(Wall or Cuz), #2(Wall or Cuz),#8-9(Pat)8-10(Orton)#20-25(Bledsoe), I mean this is crazy. No?

  48. ukfan_n_cali

    This was also said about Randolph Morris when he declared for the draft (although his stats are actually even better) but if I were a NBA executive I would like for my center draft pick to average more than 3.4 pts/game and 3.3 reb/game.

  49. UofL fan

    33. I am with you…this is crazy! We will have the youngest team in the nation again. 1 senior, 1 soph., 2 juniors if Dodson goes, and 6 to 8 freshman. WOW!

  50. Mark Hamilton

    (slowly inserts foot in mouth)

  51. F-A-G


  52. just saying

    So, explain to me again how you lose in the tourney with five players that will go top 20-25. I can’t help but look at coaching ability, or inability for that matter.

  53. Addigity

    48)Only chance for Morris to get drafted in the first round was by Pat Riley of the Miami Heat with the last pick in the first round but he chose Wyane Simeon of Kansas instead. Morris was NEVER talked about being a top 20 or even top 10 pick.

  54. minton

    Get it while you can Daniel. Never know about that knee.

  55. minton

    52. It’s called basketball. Anything can happen.

  56. LexJim

    Additional note: Orton averaged slightly more than a foul every 6 minutes of PT. When the camps begin he will drop like a stone. He is not ready and may not be after next year.

  57. Braddy

    this comes from someone on staff – “glad to get rid of orton/bledsoe”

  58. Addigity

    Orton doesn’t have to participate in the camps if he is assured of being drafted in the first round, which his hometown team, Oklahoma City, has assured him. He can do individual workouts and physicals for teams.

  59. Mark Hamilton

    So who is this Daniel Orton guy that everyone is talking about?

  60. Addigity

    Rod Stickland doesn’t like the recruiting aspect of being a college assistant and will leave for an NBA assistant job. He will be replaced by former Oregon assistant and Cal buddy Kenny Payne.

  61. Catsincebirth

    #52…it’s called not being able to throw it in the ocean…we couldn’t shoot a lick from outside.
    That was our only weak point this year…If only Meeks had stayed..what should have been…Orton won’t hurt us going pro but
    Meeks killed us.

  62. Bryan yo!!!!!!!

    It’s a raid- Damn NBA is stealing my team !!!!!!! Good luck Big D!!!!!!

  63. Fouls

    Good thing they allow 6 of me in the NBA. Now Orton can play a full ten minutes of a game before fouling out.

  64. Bryan yo!!!!!!!

    This one done thing needs to go away!!! I would like to see a good cohesive collection of players here. Get rid of the one and done, let the good ones go to the NBA

  65. iskipmud

    #58 okc doesnt have a top 10 pick

  66. bluebloodedgirl

    I know we would all love to see him return (and the others as well) but this kid has already had a severe injury to his knee. What happens if he stays and is injured again? The possiblity of a pro career is virtually over for him. Go for it and good luck DO!

  67. brad

    32–>nice! never been a guy who played 15 minutes a game goaltend more shots than DO.

    That being said, if I were an NBA gm, I would take Orton with a pick in the 20’s. He is not a lottery pick now (not near polished enough offensively), but he has huge upside if that knee stays healthy. He is a defender, a rebounder, and will learn to be a scorer with time. I think another year here would improved his stock tremendously, but they will always draft size with an upside over size that will never get any better (here’s looking at you Cole Aldrich). I just hope he doesn’t disappear on the end of a bench and end up in the D-League.

  68. Frosty Tips

    Just wait until we actually get 5 in the lottery and the media jumps on how Cal couldn’t get them to a Final Four.

  69. NBA league pass

    52) because the NBA draft is based on POTENTIAL….not necessarily how the players are playing now while in college…its what they can do in the future.

  70. Wondering

    Does anyone else wonder how any team could lose to this year’s college teams IF they have 5 players drafted in the 1st round of the NBA draft? I love Cal, SO much netter than theC;yde experiment, BUT if UK has 5 NBA 1st rounders and can’t make it to the FF then it makes me wonder about the coming years…

  71. Mark Hamilton

    If he doesnt get drafted in the first round, he should blame articles like this for his situation. They will be his escape goat.

  72. Jodie Meeks

    To 61: If a team with 5 lottery picks needed me to help them make the final four, then someone isnt getting the players to reach their potential.

  73. jc

    Orton and his dad want a paycheck.Period.It is to me a shame that a player who averages 3 and 3,leaves the bench during a game would go that high.

  74. jc

    Ditto 70

  75. SWATS

    I hope he does not hire an angent but for some reason I have a feeling his daddy will persuade him to hire one. I just feer he might end up in the D-League. On a positive note Randolph Morrris keep’s the end of the bench warm for the Hawks so I am sure Orton can do the same.

  76. gittesjake

    70 – Agreed.

  77. Sweet Wm

    70-76-we do not get 4 points for making acrobatic shots, if we did we could of won. The truth was we missed 44 shots. If we could have missed only 40 shots, we could have won.

  78. Moon Smith

    Orton a top 10 pick? Clearly the NBA GM’s were unable to watch any UK games this year. I guess BCG emailed them and told them he was tough.