On Monday the Clippers assigned Diamond Stone to the Salt Lake City Stars. Stone last appeared in a game with the Clippers on December 20th during the Clippers’ blowout victory against the Denver Nuggets. He played (only) 1:39 and registered two missed field goal attempts. On the season Stone has only appeared in four games for a total of 16 minutes played. While the Clippers have been bitten deeply by the injury-bug of late, the injuries have only affected the guard and power forward positions. Doc Rivers has addressed the Clippers’ power forward needs by inserting Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass in the available minutes. In fact, the uptick in injuries have likely deprived Stone of any additional NBA playing time as he would only see the court during blow out victories. With the rise of injuries, there has been a sore lack lately of blowout victories for the Clippers.
This assignment represents Stone’s second NBA Developmental League assignment after his previous stint of four games with the Santa Cruz Warriors earlier this year between November 19 - December 2. Stone averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1 block in 17 minutes during his four game stint (including two starts) with Santa Cruz.
This new assignment takes him to a different city and team this time for a few reasons. First, the Clippers still do not have their own developmental league affiliate (although they are still considering getting one). Second, the Santa Cruz roster already had three players considered as a “center.” Salt Lake City meanwhile only had two. Thus Stone was more likely to find potential playing time in Salt Lake City than in Santa Cruz. Stone’s next game will be Friday (December 30) in Salt Lake City against the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Hopefully the gap between assignment and the upcoming game will allow Stone to adapt to his new surroundings and team. Alas the drawback of having no specific D-League affiliate is that Clippers’ assignees will not get continuity/stability in their developmental league coaching and development.