Pelicans select Diamond Stone, reportedly trade him to Clippers
The Pelicans selected Maryland center Diamond Stone with the 40th pick of the 2016 NBA draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center. But Stone will be dealt to the Clippers as part of a trade that sent the No. 33 pick to New Orleans in exchange for the No. 39 and No. 40 picks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Stone averaged 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game last year for Maryland, his freshman season. He helped lead Maryland to the Sweet 16, where the Terrapins fell to Kansas.
Only 19, Stone has been showing off his potential for several years. The Milwaukee native won four state titles in high school and was a McDonald’s All-American.
He also has experience on the international level, playing with U.S. youth teams and picking up All-Tournament honors at the 2014 FIBA U-17 World Championship, where he helped lead the United States to a title.
Strengths: Despite an uneven freshman season, it's clear why Stone has the eye of pro scouts. Just 19, he has all the tools to be a successful pro with plenty of room to grow. Stone boasts soft hands, an array of low-post moves and sound mid-range game to boot. He's a reliable free-throw shooter, decent shot blocker and his overall defense improved as the season went on. He wasn’t a dominant player at Maryland, but he flashed glimpses of his takeover ability, including a 39-point showing against Penn State.
Weaknesses: Stone looked overmatched at times in his one-and-done season at Maryland, making you wonder if he deserved to be drafted at all. His game is fairly raw and he must find ways to stay full throttle for an entire game without getting into foul trouble. He averaged a paltry number of assists last year, despite being a gifted passer. And his attitude and temperament serve as giant red flags to prospective teams. Stone comes off as an emotional player and he’s yet to show he can channel it in a productive way.