While Melo Trimble has continued to impress with the G League’s Iowa Wolves, we haven’t heard much from the other former Terps who are playing in the NBA’s farm system. But that ends now — Diamond Stone is on one hell of a hot streak for the Salt Lake City Stars, and the world (or at least College Park) needs to know about it.
As the starting center for the Stars’ last three games, Stone has posted some crazy numbers. He’s scored 62 total points on 25-of-43 shooting, grabbed 31 rebounds and dished out six assists. The pinnacle was Saturday night, when he put up a double-double on his 21st birthday:
— Salt Lake City Stars (@slcstars) February 11, 2018
Some of the highlights from this hot streak are what you’d expect. Stone has thrown down plenty of dunks from close range:
He’s finished off some tricky layups:
He’s gotten some second-chance points, and posterized some opponents in the process:
This is what we saw during his sole year with the Terps, when he scored 12.5 points per game. They’re the sort of plays you’d want from a borderline-NBA big man.
But this isn’t your grandmother’s Diamond Stone. This Diamond Stone is knocking down midrange jumpers:
And hitting threes:
And showing off a nifty sky hook:
And serving up full-court outlet passes:
The hot scoring and slick passing aren’t the only things Stone is doing right. The problems that have held him back as a pro are starting to fade away — during this three-game stretch, he’s made a solid 73.3 percent of his free throws, and he’s committed six total fouls in 111 minutes on the court. Utah, it’s clear what you have to do.
Since leaving Maryland after the 2015-16 season, Stone has bounced around a lot. The Bulls cut the former five-star prospect shortly before the 2017-18 season began; after that, he joined the Windy City Bulls, who traded him to the Stars in January. Maybe this hot streak is the beginning of Stone’s transformation into a Hall of Fame center. (Hey, stranger things have happened.)