NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 12: Daniel Orton #33 of the Kentucky Wildcats dunks against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the quarterfinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 12, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Orlando Magic center Daniel Orton was assigned to the New Mexico Thunderbirds, the Magic’s NBA Development League affiliate, it was announced today.  The assignment marks the 13th time in the 2010-11 season an NBA player has been assigned to an NBA D-League affiliate, and it is the first assignment for Orton, a rookie out of Kentucky.

Orton (6-10, 255) hasn’t appeared in any games with the Magic this season, but averaged 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in five NBA Summer League games.  Orlando selected Orton, an early entry candidate for the 2010 NBA Draft, in the first round (29th overall), making him one of five Kentucky players chosen in the first round.

In one season at Kentucky, Orton averaged 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game, helping to lead the Wildcats to a 35-3 record and an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.  His 53 blocks in 38 games ranked fifth in the SEC.

Orton joins the Thunderbirds in anticipation of the team’s back-to-back home games against the Erie BayHawks on Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4.

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