The 2016 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday June 23rd with the Houston Rockets selecting 37th and 43rd. While the Rockets are without a first round pick given GM Daryl Morey’s tendency to orchestrate trades it would be unwise to count him out of making a deal to move up. With that Space City Scoop is featuring a Draft Prospect Series covering as many of the top ranked prospects as possible prior to draft day June 23, 2016. Next up is Diamond Stone
- Height: 6’10”
- Weight: 254
- Country: America, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Position: Center
- Age: 19
- Reach: 9′.05″
- Wingspan: 7’2.75″
- College or Pro League: Maryland, Freshman
- Stat line: 34 Games, 12.4 Points Per Game, 5.5 Rebounds Per Game, 0.4 Assists Per Game
Please note, the rankings below come from the most up to date versions as the time of writing. That said not all the mock drafts provide second round ranks or updates often only extend to the end of the first round.
Therefore, if you check a ranking and note the number has changed it’s likely due to updates and a shift in the rankings.
ESPN Chad Ford: 32
Draft Express: 29
NBA Scott Howard Cooper: 21
Bleacher Report: 40
When you watch video of Stone or read reviews on his skill set it’s impossible not to conjure images of Zach Randolph.
Like ZBo Stone he can be a beast in the post and doesn’t need to jump like most centers given his crazy wing span and standing reach.
He’s nimble on his feet for a big man, and while he hasn’t quite figured out how to use that size to his fullest advantage his time in College did find him winning most battles against his own position.
He’s young and there are questions regarding how his assets will translate in the new NBA in terms of his reluctance to operate anywhere outside the paint. That said at just 19 he’ll have plenty of time to gain confidence in expanding his range especially if he lands with the right team who can capitalize on his strength.
As per Draft Express his main issues stem from a lack of offensive versatility or explosiveness. He also tends to rush his shot and a reluctance to pass out of trouble.
"Accustomed to holding the ball excessively up until this point in his career, Stone can be a bit of a black hole at times, with a one track mind toward a shot as soon as he received an entry pass, which hurt his team’s overall offensive efficiency. His and his both ranked third worst among all prospects in our top 100, while his 4.1% assist percentage ranked fifth. 0.7 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted 0.27 assist to turnover ratio"
Things he’ll need to work on:
- Extend his field goal range beyond 8 to 10 feet
- Be more aggressive on the glass
- Learn to trust his teammates and pass out of trouble
- Better decision making when put in pressure situations
Honors and Awards:
As per Wikipedia:
- McDonald’s All-American (2015)
- First-team Parade All-American (2015)
- 4x WIAA Division 4 champion (2012–2015)
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- Houston Rockets: Jae’Sean Tate is the next Paul George
- Rockets: 4 questions regarding Sterling Brown’s horrific assault
- Why Armoni Brooks could be Rockets GM Rafael Stone’s biggest gem
- How the Rockets have unlocked Jae’Sean Tate’s true potential
No need to dive too deep into this, the reality is the Rockets intend to vie for a championship and already have a couple of young guys who are developing including at the same position (Capela) and others in the front court who don’t have deep range either (Montrezl Harrell and Michael Beasley).
Given those facts, it’s hard to imagine General Manager Daryl Morey would consider selecting Stone if he were to fall out of the first round let alone trading up for him.
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