For three weeks, the Orlando Sentinel is going through the Orlando Magic alphabetically, evaluating players, as well as coach Stan Van Gundy and General Manager Otis Smith, and assigning them grades for 2010-11.
Years with Magic/NBA: 1/1.
2010-11 regular-season stats: Did not play
2011 postseason stats: Did not play
Contract status: $1.1 million guaranteed next season, with team options in 2012-13 and 2013-2014.
Praise: Well, he's a project, a very nice kid and a good sport, considering the duties he had to perform for veterans as a rookie gopher. Other than that, we don't know anything about Orton — the Magic's first-round pick (No. 29) out of Kentucky — as a player. He didn't appear in a game and seldom practiced with the team. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome left knee just before Christmas after injuring it during a two-game D-League stint with New Mexico. Being around veterans an entire season surely couldn't hurt. Orton vows to get his body and knee in the best shape possible this offseason and win the back-up center job behind Dwight Howard.
Constructive criticism: Orton played in the summer league last year after being drafted, but he wasn't ready physically and looked mediocre. With a lockout looming, he likely won't have the same opportunity. He must rely on his own work ethic to get prepared for next season. "It's 110 percent on Daniel," GM Otis Smith said, when asked about Orton's future. Orton has had difficulty with his left knee since high school. He says when it feels sound, he will play as much as possible this offseason.
2010-11 grade*: Incomplete.The future: The Magic believe Orton has potential, armed with a big body, passing skills and a decent shot. His knee is a concern. He's probably a candidate for more D-League action next season as the Magic will sign a veteran center to back up Howard.
*grades evaluate how a person did in his expected role.