The Philadelphia 76ers training camp roster has stood at 20 players since the beginning. But they have made a few changes throughout the course of this month to strengthen a bit of the competition. The most recent one was when the Sixers decided to claim Daniel Orton after he was let go by the Oklahoma City Thunder and the corresponding roster move was the releasing of Tim Ohlbrecht.
While we do know Orton is an upgrade over Ohlbrecht, we don’t know much else at this point; like whether he will make the team or if he will have any impact. But just like over half of the guys in training camp, he is young and has something to prove and will get a chance during this open competition.
Orton was a first-round pick in the 2010 draft out of the University of Kentucky. He was part of the team with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, among others, and came out after one year at Kentucky where he only averaged 3.4 points in 13.2 minutes per game. So far in the NBA, Orton has appeared in 29 games with the Orlando Magic and the Thunder and has a career average of 2.7 points per game.
But the Sixers brought Orton in because they think he has the chance to play and maybe even be a successful contributor. In his preseason debut with the Sixers, Orton had six points, three rebounds and four blocks in 27 minutes. Although we would like to see the rebounding numbers a little higher he was very active on both ends of the floor.
Behind starters Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young, there are a bunch of question marks in the frontcourt. Until Arnett Moultrie and Nerlens Noel return from injury, there are minutes to be had. The battle is between Lavoy Allen, Royce White, Gani Lawal and Orton. Since no one has really wowed throughout the first portion of the preseason, don’t be surprised to see Orton make the opening night roster despite jumping on late to camp. He has some catching up to do but Orton could potentially be a player for Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown this season.