The Where Are They Now series continues with a look at 2016 second-round draft pick Diamond Stone.
Diamond Stone was selected with the 40th pick of
the draft by the Clippers (technically, he was selected by the Pelicans, as the
Clippers traded the 33th pick for the 39th and 40th) in a
legendary draft haul that included fellow collegiate big man Brice Johnson and
French point guard David Michineau. Much like Johnson, Stone barely played in
his rookie season, appearing in just seven games and logging 24 minutes
(somehow nearly three times as many as the first round Johnson!) for a
collapsing Lob City squad. In the summer of 2017, Stone was a throw-in to the
trade that brought Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers, and was sent to the
Atlanta Hawks. With that, his Clippers’ career was over.
2017 – 2018
After a middling Summer League with the Hawks, Stone was
waived three weeks later, in late July. The Chicago Bulls signed him to training
camp in September, but he failed to make the NBA roster, and was waived in early
October. As part of the Exhibit 10 deal, Stone joined the Windy City Bulls, but
played just 10 games for them before being traded to the Salt Lake City Stars.
Across 31 games on both teams, Stone averaged 15.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.1
assists on 47.3% shooting in just 24.3 minutes per contest. Impressive numbers,
sure, but the issues that made Stone a non-NBA player (lack of range on
offense, lack of rim protection or switchability on defense) continued.
2018 – 2019
Stone played in Summer League for the Jazz, but again failed
to make an impression, with the Salt Lake City Stars flipping him to the Iowa Wolves
shortly thereafter. Stone played 12 games for the Wolves before being waived in
early January 2019. Stone was only on the market for a few days, however, before
he was picked up by the Rio Grande Vipers, with whom he’d finish the season.
Across 33 games played, Stone’s stats declined nearly across the board, as he averaged
just 14.2 minutes per game as more of a role player, though his efficiency did
improve a bit. Overall, after a fairly strong season the year before, this was
a step back for Stone, which must have been disappointing as he was just 22 at
2020 to Future
Diamond Stone did not play at all in the 2019-2020 season, nor did he even sign with a team. IN 2021, Stone did sign with the Guelph Nighthawks of the Canadian Elite Basketball League, but didn’t appear in a game. Finally, on July 1, Stone signed with the Mets de Guaynabo of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional, the top league in Puerto Rico. Stone started 11 games for the Mets, averaging an impressive 20.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game on 53.7% shooting. In late August, Stone shifted teams (he seems to have been waived?), signing with Gigantes de Carolina. Stone has played in two games with them, and will presumably appear in more during the remainder of the 2021 season.
As a one-year college player, Stone is still shockingly
young. Just 24 years old, he has plenty of professional basketball ahead of
him, but seems further away than ever from the NBA after seemingly falling out
of the G-League. Stone’s inability to stick with a team could be because of
off-court or locker room stuff, or maybe just disappointing on court play, but
regardless, I’d wager that his playing on so many different teams, leagues, and
systems has stunted his skill development and growth as a player.
Hopefully Diamond Stone is able to find a real basketball
home soon, and begin to turn his career around.