For the first time since 2002, the Maryland Terrapins had more than one player selected in the NBA Draft. Center Diamond Stone and small forward Jake Layman were each selected in the second round, while teammates Robert Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon look to prove their worth this summer in the NBA Summer League.
Here's a look at how Stone and Layman could contribute to the teams that took a chance on them in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Diamond Stone- Center, Freshman
Drafted: 40th overall/ New Orleans Pelicans (Traded to Los Angeles Clippers)
Coming out of high school, Stone was projected to go as high as the lottery, but suffered a steep drop in the 2016 NBA Draft. Still, he showed enough upside in his one year at Maryland to make him a steal for the Los Angeles Clippers as a mid second-round pick.
He didn’t become the unstoppable interior force that many projected, but that’s largely due to the Terps’ crowded starting five. Stone’s potential is evident, and he still showed flashes of what made him the No. 6 overall recruit in 2015.
At home against the Nittany Lions, Stone put the Terps on his back and scored a monstrous 39 points.
He was a force to be reckoned with in the pick-and-roll game, and displayed an array of post moves that are hard to find at 19 years old.
But there’s a lot to not like about Stone as well, especially from the perspective of an NBA general manager. He was a defensive liability at times, and was subbed out when the Terps needed to make defensive stops at critical points in the game. Stone is still a growing prospect that hasn’t finished developing, but questions about his physique and motor followed him from college into the minds of NBA scouts.
Where he fits with the Clippers:
Stone won’t compete for a starting spot against DeAndre Jordan, but he could become a viable alternative. The two have vastly different styles of play, and that should benefit Stone as he tries to make his mark in the NBA. Jordan is a rebounding machine and defensive stalwart, with the majority of his offense coming from put-back dunks and lobs via Chris Paul. Stone’s offensive game is more polished and promising than Jordan’s. At the end of the day, the Clippers get a 19-year-old big-man who can put the ball on the floor.
Jake Layman- Forward, Senior
Drafted: 47th overall/ Orlando Magic (Traded to Portland Trailblazers)
Unlike Stone, Layman played all four years at Maryland and developed into an NBA caliber player because of it.
Amidst a mass exodus of transfers from the program prior to the 2014-15 season, Layman stayed put as the only returning recruit from his class. He tested NBA waters after his junior year, but came back for his senior season and left a legacy that many Terps’ fans will remember for a long time.
Layman’s skillset is at an NBA high. He’s an athletic 6’9” wing that can run the floor, play defense and knock down the three. In the 2016 Big Ten tournament against Nebraska, Layman started the game a blistering 5-for-6 from beyond the arc.
When the shot isn’t falling for Layman, he makes up for it by playing hard nosed defense.
The big knock on Layman’s game is that with all the talent he possesses, he has a tendency to occasionally disappear from the stat sheet. Sometimes he’s a mismatch nightmare that can’t be stopped, and other times he’s an afterthought in the offense.
Where he fits with the Trailblazers:
Portland is an ideal situation for the Massachusetts native, because it’s a team rebuilding but not exactly in full rebuild mode. Despite a massive roster overhaul last season, Portland upset the Clippers in the NBA Playoffs as the third-youngest team in the NBA. The Trailblazers’ style of play revolves around ball movement and three-point shooting, and Layman could thrive as a valuable 3-and-D wing in Head coach Terry Stotts’ system. He’ll have to battle seasoned small forwards like Allen Crabbe and Al-Farouq Aminu to do so.