Oklahoma City Thunder roundtable: Evaluating Daniel Orton's season

The Oklahoman's staff writers discuss three topics surrounding Daniel Orton.
By John Rohde Published: May 30, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma City's Daniel Orton (33) defends as Chicago's Nazr Mohammed (48) defends during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Daniel Orton (33) defends as Chicago's Nazr Mohammed (48) defends during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

1. Will Daniel Orton sacrifice potential playing time to stay in his hometown of OKC, or will he go anywhere because he simply wants to play?

Darnell Mayberry: I have no idea what he will do. But I know what he should do. That's stick around. Not simply because this is his hometown. That'd be silly. But also because he's in a good situation with a great organization. Even if he doesn't play much next year he'll still be surrounded by people who genuinely care about his development and well-being. After two wasted seasons in Orlando, chances are Daniel knows just how critical that is in this league.

John Rohde: The kid should be willing to stick around with the Thunder even if it means sitting another year or two. Having a chance to be teammates with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, et al, is rare – especially in your hometown.

Berry Tramel: If Orton has the chance to play somewhere, he needs to take it. If he wants a long NBA career, showing someone that he can play is the way to go. Byron Mullens is a good example. Couldn't get on the court in OKC, went to Charlotte, put up some numbers and now will have a job for the foreseeable future.

2. Is Orton the Thunder's best offensive center?

Mayberry: Statistically, that “honor” belonged to Hasheem Thabeet. But much of his offensive success came via set-ups. All he had to do was finish plays, which, to his credit, he did very well. But as far as I could tell from his limited playing time, Daniel Orton has the best hands, feet and finishing ability of any center on the roster. For the most part, Daniel also seemed more comfortable creating something for himself better than any other player at his position. So my vote, for whatever it's worth, goes to Orton.

Rohde: No question, and he's not even trying to be. Orton primarily has been known for his shot-blocking and rebounding. His offensive skills have only developed the last two years. Of course, being the Thunder's best offensive center is akin to being the tallest midget (short person?).

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