Diamond Stone has been labeled as a fringe first round pick by many draft experts in recent weeks.
In CBSSports’ latest mock draft, Sam Vecenie has Stone slipping into the early second round and going to the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 32.
Stone was the only Terrapin that Vecenie included his two-round mock draft.
Of the pick for the Lakers, Vecenie said “I have quite a few centers placed ahead of Stone on my board, but the guy is still a young player with good hands who could eventually turn into something.”
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise because DraftExpress also had Stone barely sneaking into the first round. The site had Stone going to the Golden State Warriors at No. 30 in their latest mock draft, which was released on Monday.
A large amount of draft publications don’t even have the former Terp being selected in the opening round.
Stone averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in just over 23 minutes per contest last season. The former Dominican (Wis.) star scored in double figures in 26 of Maryland’s 35 games during the 2015-16 season.
The former five-star recruit began the season coming off the bench for coach Mark Turgeon. His coming out party was against Penn State on Dec. 30 when he scored 39 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a comeback victory.
As we wrote on Monday, Stone has several negative factors that are weighing down his chances of being a first rounder.
There’s a ton of depth in the frontcourt in the 2016 Draft, especially in the lottery. Stone also doesn’t have elite size and isn’t the most prolific rebounder.
It’s certainly going to be an uphill battle for Stone to land in the first round. However, you never know what happens on draft night when NBA teams are desperately trying to improve their rosters.
While there’s definitely flaws in Stone’s game, there’s no question that there’s a ton of potential in the former Maryland big man.