New Mexico Thunderbirds logo with large white background
Orlando Pinstriped Post has learned, but has been unable to confirm, that the Orlando Magic may have recalled rookie center Daniel Orton from the New Mexico Thunerbirds, their D-League affiliate, after just a two-day stay. I again emphasize that I have yet to confirm this rumor, and neither the Magic nor the Thunderbirds have made an official announcement on the matter.
For as-yet-undisclosed reasons, Orton did not join the Thunderbirds for the second half of their 96-83 win over the Erie BayHawks on Saturday night. In 12 minutes, he tallied 8 points and 3 rebounds, shooting 4-of-7 from the floor. In his D-League debut on Friday night, he contributed 12 points, a game-high 13 rebounds, and 4 assists, helping New Mexico top Erie.
In Saturday's Orlando Sentinel, Brian Schmitz reported Orlando was counting on keeping Orton in the D-League "for about two weeks."
If the Magic have indeed recalled Orton, the move makes sense, as the stomach flu has cost them four players in each of their last two games. Dwight Howard is among those players, leaving Orlando with only Marcin Gortat and Malik Allen to man the center position.
Orton has yet to log a minute of NBA action, as the Magic have listed him as inactive in each of their first 20 games of the season. They drafted him for his potential, particularly on the defensive end, and see him as a long-term prospect.
UPDATE: I'm now hearing--and again, it's unofficial--that Orton could be headed back to Orlando due to an injury of his own. He may have "tweaked something," according to a person I spoke to, which explains why he left New Mexico's game last night.