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Diamond Stone hiring agent, staying in NBA draft

Landen Lucas, Diamond Stone

Maryland center Diamond Stone, right, charges into Kansas forward Landen Lucas during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the regional semifinals of the men’s NCAA Tournament, in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, March 24, 2016. Kansas won 79-63. (AP Photo/John Flavell)


Maryland freshman Diamond Stone was headed to the NBA draft without an agent, allowing him to maintain college eligibility.

Now, he’s set on turning pro.

Maryland release:

University of Maryland sophomore guard Melo Trimble will enter his name in the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent, while freshman center Diamond Stone will declare for the NBA Draft with plans to hire an agent.

Stone projects to be a mid first-round pick, so it’s probably wise for him to stay in the draft.

A big center, Stone was a force inside at Maryland. He’ll have to show in workouts that he can continue to excel when regularly facing similarly sized opponents. Stone’s footwork and touch look good, but he doesn’t have the athleticism to reach a higher gear.

Another issue: Stone’s conditioning, which prevented him from always playing hard. But he won’t be playing big minutes in the NBA immediately, anyway. He can work on getting into better shape as he learns the pro game, developing in multiple ways simultaneously.

Trimble is a probable second-rounder. He passes well for a scoring guard, but his 6-foot-3 height dictates he play point guard at the next level. It’s up to him whether he’ll work on his point guard skills at Maryland or in the pros.