Name: Diamond Stone
Weight: 255 lbs
Key Stats: (college) 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 23.1 minutes per game as a Freshman at Maryland. Shot 56.% from the field and 76.1% from the free throw line.
Contract Status: Drafted 38th overall and signed to a two-year minimum deal this summer. Both years are fully guaranteed.
Breakdown: Stone averaged 10.4 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Clippers in the Summer League this year, right in line with his college statistics. We saw all of Diamond’s strengths on display: smooth post moves, surprising flashes of a mid-range game, and an amazing name. We also saw his weaknesses: a lack of strength defending the post and rebounding, which resulted in low rebound numbers, high foul numbers, and the Clippers’ SL team not being very good (that last part wasn’t just on Diamond—it was a team effort).
Outlook for 2016-17: Fortunately for the Clippers, their real team will be better than their SL team was. That means that Diamond Stone won’t have quite the same role in November as he did in July—if he has a role at all. Stone looks pretty buried in the depth chart at the moment, behind All-NBA 1st Team Center DeAndre Jordan, perennial All-Star Blake Griffin, established veterans Marreese Speights and Brandon Bass, and first-round pick Brice Johnson. And even though they can’t play center, Luc Mbah a Moute, Wesley Johnson, and Paul Pierce would all play PF in small ball lineups before Doc Rivers turns to Stone.
Of course, the Diamond Stone experience is going to be a ton of fun for fans and writers. His name will lead us to endless, yet-to-be-discovered possibilities, like writing the phrase “Doc Rivers turns to Stone” in the last paragraph. In the NBA rookie poll, he was ranked as one of the funniest prospects, and we can only hope that he translates that ability to the NBA bench in the form of some serious celebrations.