76ers center Daniel Orton hopes to show Orlando fans why the Magic drafted him

Orlando Sentinel

In his two seasons with the Orlando Magic, former first-round pick Daniel Orton played in a total of 16 regular-season games.

Injuries and playing time haven’t been problems so far with his new team, the Philadelphia 76ers.

Orton hopes to give Magic fans a glimpse of his potential when the Magic host the 76ers tonight at Amway Center.

“I know the fans of Orlando were kind of wondering why they drafted me, what the purpose of picking me was,” Orton said after the Sixers finished their shootaround today. “If I get the opportunity to show them, it’ll be a good feeling.”

In the 2010 NBA Draft, the Magic used the 29th overall pick to select Orton out of Kentucky.

At the time, team officials didn’t realize that the 6-foot-10 center still had some lingering problems related to a high-school knee injury, and Orton missed his entire rookie year. The next season, he played in a total of 16 games.

The Magic allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent, and he spent last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

He’s grateful for his opportunity with the 76ers, but he misses Orlando.

“I love the city, and I love the area,” Orton said. “I wanted to play here so bad, and I do miss it. I miss this weather so much. It was fun being here.”

Orton has played in 11 games for the Sixers.

On Saturday, with starting center Spencer Hawes sidelined by an injury, Orton played a career-high 36 minutes in a loss to the Indiana Pacers. He scored 10 points and collected a career-high 10 rebounds.

Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at jbrobbins@tribune.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.

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