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Terps' Diamond Stone, Melo Trimble, Jake Layman make 2016 NBA mock drafts

Maryland guard Melo Trimble is projected as a possible first-round pick in the 2016 NBA draft.
Maryland guard Melo Trimble is projected as a possible first-round pick in the 2016 NBA draft. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

The biggest news the Maryland men's basketball team made in the 2015 NBA draft was that two of the three remaining Terps in the league got traded: Point guards Greivis Vasquez and Steve Blake were both part of draft-day deals.

Things expect to be different in 2016.

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While nobody believes the Terps could challenge this year's output from Kentucky, which had four players taken in the first round Thursday night and six Wildcats total chosen, Maryland could come to matching Duke, which had three first-round picks from its NCAA championship team.

Point guard Melo Trimble, incoming center recruit Diamond Stone and forward Jake Layman all have received attention as possible first-round picks in next year's draft.

While Stone is a consensus first-rounder and has been mentioned prominently as a lottery pick  slotted as highly as No. 6 overall by nbadraftroom.com the reviews are still mixed for the other two Terps.

Nbadraftroom.com has Trimble going No. 11, and nbadraft.net has him 18th overall. Draftexpress.com has the 6-foot-3 rising sophomore going No. 34 overall, and Bleacher Report doesn't have Trimble in its projected first round. Layman is 22nd in Bleacher Report and draftexpress.com's rankings but listed 48th by nbadraftnet.com and 60th by nbadraftroom.com.

As he explained it around the time Layman and Trimble were contemplating whether to return to College Park, draftexpress.com's Jonathan Givony said he thinks Layman has barely scratched the surface of his talent, while Trimble might be close to his limit.

I tend to think Trimble will be able to show more of his point guard skills next season because of the addition of Stone and transfers Robert Carter Jr. and Rasheed Sulaimon. I also think Layman will have more of an opportunity to demonstrate his offensive skills with the graduation of guard Dez Wells.

Neither Carter nor Sulaimon is on any mock draft for next year. Certainly that has a lot to do with Carter's absence last year and Sulaimon's on-court regression since his freshman year at Duke.

While many Maryland fans think all five players could be drafted in 2016, all you have to do is look at what happened to Kentucky's Aaron Harrison for an example of plans gone awry.

Two years ago, he and brother Andrew were considered among the top-five high school players in the country. If anything, Aaron was thought to be the better of the two. On Thursday, Aaron went undrafted and Andrew was taken 44th overall by the Phoenix Suns and traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

As for the Terps, I have a feeling Mark Turgeon is not going to come out and talk about how it's more important that his starting lineup gets drafted than it is to lead Maryland back to the Final Four and, possibly, a national championship.

One day, Kentucky coach John Calipari will realize how ridiculous he sounds making statements like that. It seems likely Turgeon will be in a similar position next June, sitting there with most, if not all, of his starting lineup on draft night. The 2016 draft is going to be a lot different for the Terps.

The biggest news won't be about a trade.

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