Oklahoma City Thunder releases reserve center, Bishop McGuinness product Daniel Orton

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: October 10, 2013

The Oklahoma City Thunder has released reserve center Daniel Orton.

It's a move that had become increasingly likely given that Orton, the former Bishop McGuinness standout, was projected to be the fourth center after the team drafted center Steven Adams with the 12th overall pick.

Adams is on a guaranteed rookie scale contract, while Orton was on a non-guaranteed deal, meaning the Thunder saves approximately $900,000 by waiving Orton now. The Thunder would have had to pay Orton his full salary for this season had he made the team.

Releasing Orton now also gives the Thunder an opportunity to enter the regular season with 14 players, a strategic move that most teams like to employ to maintain flexibility in the event a roster move must be made during the regular season.

But with starting point guard Russell Westbrook expected to miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season, the Thunder also could give its 15th roster spot to Diante Garrett, a third-string point guard who's currently on a training camp invitation.

Orton appeared in 13 games with the Thunder last season, averaging two points, two rebounds and eight minutes.

He had a strong summer league showing in Orlando, and his should give him a an opportunity to latch on with another team before the regular season begins.