Free agent center Daniel Orton will sign with the D-League and play for the Maine Red Claws, the affiliate of the Celtics, USA Today’s Sam Amick reports (Twitter links). The Red Claws are acquiring his D-League rights via trade from the Tulsa 66ers, according to Amick. Orton had offers from Chinese teams, Amick adds, but he will instead showcase his skills within the range of most NBA observers.
The Sixers waived Orton earlier this month, just before his contract would have become guaranteed for the rest of the season. Philadelphia had picked him up during the preseason a few days after the Thunder cut him loose. The 6’10″ Orton was the 29th overall pick of the 2010 draft out of the University of Kentucky, but he missed the 2010/11 season with injury and has yet to blossom. He’s appeared in a total of 51 NBA games so far, with career numbers of 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game with a 10.6 PER.
He hasn’t fared too much better when his NBA teams have assigned him to the D-League, putting up 12.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 27.8 minutes per game over 31 contests. If he impresses this time around, the Celtics will have the flexibility to sign him to the big club, since they have only 13 guaranteed contracts. Orton will nonetheless remain eligible to sign with any NBA team.