Slam Online has spent the last few weeks detailing the picks in their NBA mock draft. This morning’s selection just happens to be Daniel Orton, who you may remember played for Kentucky last season. The Slam folks (not to be confused with these Slam folks) project Orton to go #21 to his hometown Oklahoma City Thunder, a spot where many experts predict he’ll end up.
Orton’s general tallness is seen as a plus in terms of his future in the NBA, along with the fact that he’s relatively fresh after riding mostly pine while with the Cats. Seriously, Orton’s athleticism and upside make him intriguing for the Thunder and Slam outlines the other attractions to the big guy:
Orton will have the opportunity to contribute right away in OKC because he’s a terrific athlete and that’s all we’re going to ask him to be. We need a guy to set wide screens, rebound the ball, challenge shots and most importantly, box out. Orton can contribute in all those areas and even though we’re OK with the talent currently on our front line, our five spot isn’t locked down by any means. He’ll have an opportunity to compete for playing time right away.
And they seem to think that an Orton pick could make a big enough impact to have GM’s around the league throwing down swear words like they’re in a Today Show interview:
The fact is Daniel Orton is 19 years old. He’s 6-10 with an NBA body, exceptional touch and he’s motivated to prove that last season at Kentucky was a fluke. Like I said, we’re playing with house money and we have the best infrastructure in the League, I like our chances at making it work. Also, you have to feel good about your selection anytime it causes the other 29 GMs in the League to drop a collective f-bomb. Orton is that kind of pick.
So now we know everything we need to know about the 21st pick in the upcoming draft. Just for kicks, here’s some links to the other profiles of the Kentucky players that Slam has put out in the past weeks.