The Indiana Pacers held their sixth pre-draft workout Wednesday, and potential first round pick Diamond Stone was one of the participants.
The freshman prospect is the fourth Maryland Terrapin prospect work out with the Pacers. In past weeks, his teammates Jake Layman, Robert Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon have all worked out with the Pacers. While he and his teammates are all talented, Stone has the highest draft rating of the group.
According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, Stone is the 32nd-best prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft. Meanwhile, DraftExpress.com currently lists Stone as their 33rd-best prospect. Based on these projections, Stone is a borderline first rounder, but many people believe he will be selected in the first round.
More from Ink on Indy
- Still Searching for Their Groove, Pacers Take on Struggling Magic Thursday Night
- Pacers Travel to the Nation’s Capital to Begin Four Game Road Trip
- Update on Pacers’ Oladipo’s Serious Leg Injury
- Has Romeo Langford Been a Disappointment for the Hoosiers?
- The Indianapolis Colts Have a Brutal Road Schedule in 2019
The 19-year-old prospect is a traditional post player. Stone used his large 7-foot, 254-pound frame to overpowered his opponents.
As a result, he created plenty of good scoring chances for himself. He averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his one and only season with the Terrapins.
While he is a good post player, his skill set will be hard to consistently rely on in today’s NBA. These days, teams are relying more on small, athletic players and using big men less.Stone is a traditional big man, who works solely in the post. He will have a hard time finding a role if he gets drafted by the wrong NBA team.
Another point of concern about Stone is his overall fitness. He only averaged 23.5 minutes played in 35 games last season. To be fair, his low usage could also be due to foul trouble or having a bad matchup with an opponent.
However, Stone measured out with 12.9% body fat at the NBA Combine. While it may be unfair, scouts and analysts look at his low usage in college as a sign of improper fitness.
Overall, Stone has first round talent, but his question marks, like fitness, do not make him a guaranteed first round pick in some people’s eyes. Here is DraftExpress’ summary of his value.
"“There’s certainly a role for Stone in the NBA, as players of his size with advanced scoring instincts certainly don’t grow on trees, and this may be enough to warrant a team selecting him in the first round. However, he will need to polish and diversify his offensive skill set, while becoming a much more consistent defensive and rebounding presence, to break through at the next level… Much will depend on how hard Stone is willing to work and how coachable he proves to be…”"
A few NBA writers have recently linked the 7-foot center to the Indiana Pacers. in their recent mock drafts, NESN‘s Nicholas Goss and Basketball Insiders‘ Steve Kyler both predicted the Pacers will take Stone.
The Pacers could use some depth behind their young post player Myles Turner. By combining this need with the uncertain futures of Jordan Hill and Ian Mahinmi, a Diamond Stone selection makes sense. However, he does not match stylistically with the Pacers.
Stone does not fit the playing style they want to employ next season. the Pacers want to use an up-tempo offense. Meanwhile, Stone works primarily in the post and takes a lot of time backing down his opponent to reach his scoring range. Stone’s deliberate post work and the Pacers’ desire to play at a fast tempo do not match.
Diamond Stone will be available for the Indiana Pacers to take with the 20th overall. Unfortunately, his playing style does not match what they are probably looking for. The Pacers are interested in Stone (based off his presence at their pre-draft workout), but do not be surprised if he is not their first round selection.