Maryland center Diamond Stone has left the Terps after one season for the NBA. In a special edition of the Testudo Times Podcast, we've come to a consensus that it's a smart move for Stone, who should go in the first round of the draft.
If you're not up for listening to a podcast, fear not! Here's a rundown of what we said:
For many of the reasons Matt laid out last week, the financial sense for Stone here was clear. He is a projected first-round pick, which means he'd be guaranteed to make seven figures over the life of his first contract if he doesn't fall. Stone's career will end whenever it will end, and the year he decides to start being paid to play basketball won't affect it. It's a move that gets Stone closer to NBA free agency a half-decade from now, and it extends the life of his earnings career by a year in the NBA – meaning he'll have another season to get paid many millions of dollars, potentially, at the tail end.
Melo Trimble's decision makes sense, too. He's declaring for the draft but not hiring an agent, which reflects a genuine uncertainty about where he stands. If Trimble believes he'll be a first-round pick, it's likely he goes, too. But if he doesn't – and therefore doesn't have a dime guaranteed to him – another year in College Park becomes more enticing.
Maryland's going to be worse next season, almost certainly, whether the Terps add graduate transfers. If Trimble comes back, they'll still be highly competitive on that virtue alone. If he doesn't, this is probably a fringe tournament team, but Mark Turgeon's done a good job replenishing Maryland's roster via the transfer, anyway.
And always remember: Maryland's players are making the best decisions for them. Don't tweet them!