Diamond Stone is a center from the University of Maryland. Stone is 6’10 and has a wingspan of 7’3. For the year, he averaged, 22.6 minutes per game, 12.5 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, 0.4 assists per game, 1.6 blocks per game, while shooting 56.8% from the field.
- Excellent under the rim player
- Good footwork
- Ability to hit short-range jumpers
- Good shooting mechanics
- Great free throw shooter for a big
- Shows great potential for pick-and-roll
- Runs the floor well
- Interior defense
- Defensive potential
- Size and strength
- Excellent hands
- Shows good confidence in his ability
- Lacks elite athleticism
- Questionable motor
- Needs to improve passing skills
- Immature attitude
- Struggles beating long or strong defenders
- Mediocre rebounder
- Poor rebounding fundamentals
- Questionable rim protection
Diamond Stone is an interesting prospect for the 2016 NBA Draft. He has all the physical attributes you look for in a prototypical NBA center, but his work ethic and attitude have many concerned about how successful he can be at the next level.
On offense, Stone is capable of destroying many opponents on the interior. He utilizes his good footwork to get good position near the rim to hit efficient shots. His also possesses a good set of developed post moves to keep the defense guessing. He does a good job of using his strength to bully smaller frontcourt players, which leads to him getting to the line, where he is a very good from. When faced against players, who are either very long, or stronger than him, Stone struggles to beat them, and often gets overwhelmed by them. Stone is capable of stepping out to hit a jumper. Stone has great shooting form, and with encouraged practice could become a reliable mid-range jumper, or even a three point threat in the future. Stone might have the worst motor in the entire draft. He can run hot, and completely dominate a game, or he could come out, and not care what happens, and you rarely see anything in between. If he is not being involved on offense, he completely checks out, and will give you very minimal effort. Stone is also not much of a passer, as when he touches the ball, he likes to try to score.
On defense, Stone has all the physical intangibles to be an elite defender in the NBA. On the interior, Stone is very strong, and does not allow for his man to back him down. His length causes for many of his opponent’s shots to become altered. Let this not get your hopes up, as Stone does not have natural instincts for rim protection, and relies mainly on his length. His combination of size and speed could make him a good perimeter defender at the next level, but this was rarely seen at Maryland. When he is fully locked in, Stone is a mean man on defense, and will not make life easy for anyone that dares come into the paint. Is rebounding is a bit of a mystery for a player who has so much strength and length. He does not box out well on the defensive end, which gives opposing team’s second chance opportunities.
Overall, Stone is a solid player, who could dominate at the next level if he can find a coaching staff, which can keep the fire lit underneath him. His interior offense will punish opposing frontcourts, while with more confidence on his jump shot, Stone could become a mismatch for opposing teams. Defensively, a locked in Stone is utterly dominant. Even when he is not fully zoned in, Stone is a tough defender for bigs to score upon. The biggest question marks to whether or not Stone will succeeded at the next level will be his motor and improving on his fundamentals. Stone’s draft range is looking to be in the 20-35 range. His lack of rim protection reliability will cause many teams to continue to be weary of him, but teams like Atlanta, Toronto, Phoenix could all use some nasty added to their frontcourts to better their chances of making it to the playoffs.
Pro Comparison: Zach Randolph
In his prime, you never wanted to face Zach Randolph. He is mean, nasty, and skilled. In the modern league, you are not able to see a lot of nasty, but it is always appreciated by the fans, as long it does not get out of hand. Randolph is known for giving his effort all of the time, something Stone will need to do if he wants to fall into a similar type role in the league, and be successful.
On offense, Randolph and Stone are very similar. They are skilled beneath the basket players, who use their footwork and strength to get easy baskets. Like Randolph, Stone has the ability to step up, and hit the short to mid-range jump shots with good consistency. Stone looks to have the ability to step up to the three point line if he practices, something which could send his potential way higher than Randolph. Neither player is a great passer, as they like to finish at the rim when handed the ball.
Defensively, Stone and Randolph play with mean demeanor, which opposing players hate facing in the paint. Stone is much better at using his size and length to alter more shots. Stone looks to have better speed to be a better perimeter defender, but Randolph had the heavier set to not get bullied in the paint, which can sometimes happen to Stone. In terms of rebounding, Randolph is much better due to his dedication to fundamentals. Stone has all the intangibles to be successful here, he just needs to focus on the basics.
Randolph has had an extremely successful career after coming out of Michigan State. He may not be the most skilled player on the court, but his effort and motor have made him a solid two-way player. Stone has the similar type of career ahead of him, as long as he continues to get pushed to his full potential by his future coaching staff.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17