In two years, former Maryland center Diamond Stone has gone from being a projected NBA lottery pick coming out of high school to an NBA free agent now looking at his fourth different team.
Stone was waived Monday by the Atlanta Hawks, less than a month after being acquired as part of a three-team trade that also included the Los Angeles Clippers, Stone's previous employer, and the Denver Nuggets.
The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Stone, who was the No. 40 overall pick after his freshman year at Maryland, had averaged nine points and 3.5 rebounds in four games with the Hawks' summer league team in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Initially taken by the New Orleans Pelicans and sent to the Clippers in a draft-night trade, Stone got most of his playing time as a rookie in the D-League (now the G-League). He averaged 16.2 points and seven rebounds in 13 games with Santa Cruz and Salt Lake City.
Stone played in just seven games with the Clippers, averaging 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in 3.4 minutes a game.
With the trade of fading veteran center Dwight Howard and the loss of four-time All-Star forward Paul Millsap through free agency, it appeared that Stone might have an opportunity with the rebuilding Hawks, who had just Mike Muscala and Miles Plumlee on the roster when they made the July 5 trade.
But Atlanta has since added 7-footer Dewayne Dedmon, who has played for four NBA teams over parts of the last four years, including in San Antonio, where he appeared in a career-high 76 games and started 37 for the Spurs last season, averaging career-highs of 5.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 17.5 minutes a game.
According to a Los Angeles Times story at the time Stone signed with the Clippers, the former Terp should have one year left on a two-year deal that paid him a little over $543,000 as a rookie. In his one season at Maryland, Stone averaged 12.5 points,5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots in 22.6 minutes a game.
The highlight of his season in College Park came in his first Big Ten game, when Stone scored a school freshman record 39 points against Penn State at Xfinity Center, including 32 points in the second half, the most points ever by a Maryland player in one half. Stone’s 19 of 25 free throw shooting were also single-game school records for attempts and shots made.