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Where will Maryland basketball’s Diamond Stone, Jake Layman and Robert Carter Jr. end up in the 2016 NBA Draft?

What does this mean?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA Draft only a few days away, former Maryland basketball players Diamond Stone, Robert Carter Jr. and Jake Layman have been on at least 31 pre-draft workouts between the three of them.

What are we supposed to make of that is simple: Maryland basketball had three very talented players on its team last year who could have futures in the NBA.

What we are NOT to make of that: Stone, Carter, or Layman will certainly be drafted by a team that they worked out for. Just because a team works someone out doesn’t mean that they’ll draft that player.

There are simply too many reasons why a team may or may not work out a player. There are logistics issues: working out a day that works for both team and player can be difficult, especially when other teams want to work this player out too. A team may already have enough film on a player to make a proper evaluation, so it won’t bring him in for a workout. A team might not think the player will fall to them (i.e. Kelly Oubre and the Washington Wizards last year).

Still, these workouts could give us some slight insight into who’s going to draft Stone, Carter or Layman. Teams that did work out former Terrapins might be inclined to draft those players should they be available at the right time. Or they might not. We don’t have eyes in these NBA front offices, and we can’t know exactly what they’re thinking.

Lets take a look at the list of teams we know have worked out Stone, Carter and Layman and see how they might fit in. (Disclaimer: this list is what I could confirm. Let me know in the comments if there’s something I missed.)

Diamond Stone (projected to go 32nd overall by Draft Express)

  • Atlanta Hawks (12, 21, 44, 54):

The Hawks probably have some idea about whether or not they’re willing to pay Al Horford the max money he has coming to him this summer. If they do, it does not make much sense to spend a first-round pick on Stone (because he probably is not dropping to 44). Should they believe they have other areas that need more attention and let Horford walk, Stone is someone who could develop into an average starter fairly quickly given the amount of work he has been doing at IMG Academy to train for the draft.

  • Charlotte Hornets (22):

To me, Diamond Stone is comparable to Al Jefferson, the current Hornets center who is set to become a free agent at the start of July. Both have solid post games, but are limited in their size and shooting ability. If Charlotte does not want to overpay for a 31-year old big and do not feel confident enough in Cody Zeller to takeover the position for the foreseeable future, taking Stone in the first round would make sense.

  • Phoenix Suns (4, 13, 27, 34):

With the Suns investing $52 million in 33-year old Tyson Chandler and still hoping for former Terps big Alex Len to round into form, drafting another player who can only truly play center would be puzzling. Stone would be a bigger offensive threat compared to Chandler and Len but for a team that is weak at the forward position, they have much more pressing needs than selecting a developmental big.

  • Toronto Raptors (9, 27):

With the Raptors likely losing Bismack Biyombo in free agency after his stock soared with a strong playoff performance, the lone Canadian team will be in the market for a backup to Jonas Valanciunas. Their likelihood to pull the trigger, or lack thereof, on Stone will be in the coaching staff’s thoughts on Lucas Nogueira, a 2013 first round pick, currently on the roster. Stone was brought in by the Raptors twice, most recently two days before the draft.

  • Denver Nuggets (7, 15, 19, 53, 56):

The Nuggets are an interesting and somewhat unlikely landing spot for Stone. Given their current position in the draft, they would either have to move down ten spots or move up at least 10 spots to be in the proper range to draft Stone. However, even if head coach Michael Malone were to think highly of Stone there would be a huge logjam at center. Denver currently has three European centers, Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic, and Jofferey Lauvergne, on their roster and it is too early to scrap their talents as they are all under the age of 25 and all playing at least 17 minutes per game last season.

  • Orlando Magic (11, 41, 47):

The Sunshine State also looks like an improbable destination for Stone because Nikola Vucevic has already established himself as a top scoring center in the conference and is only 25. Despite backup center Jason Smith up for free agency, the Magic are very comfortable with second year USC product Dewayne Dedmon playing the 12.2 minutes per game he did from last season.

  • Detroit Pistons (18, 49):

Unless the Pistons are willing to move up in the second round or Stone were to slip mightily, Detroit does not seem like a likely landing spot for the Maryland product. Despite Andre Drummond going into free agency this summer, he is restricted and the Pistons will likely pay him the max money he deserves. Then with Aron Baynes already on the books for another $6.5 million this season, it would be tough for Detroit to bite the bullet and let him ride as a third center on a team assuming Stone would get backup minutes.

  • Chicago Bulls (14, 48):

With both Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah set to become free agents, the latter possibly looking to play with his brother and the latter having friction with the team, the Bulls could be looking for a center. However, similarly to the Pistons the Bulls would have to adjust their selection position to gran Stone without reaching or risk losing him by waiting too long.

  • Boston Celtics (3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58):

With Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller both becoming free agents in July, Boston could certainly take a big to help solidify their depth. Stone would not get many minutes behind Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk, but his offensive game would likely improve under head coach Brad Stevens. Obviously with their wealth of draft picks, particularly at 31 and 35, the Celtics will get Stone if they truly want him.

  • Milwaukee Bucks (10, 36, 38):

Greg Monroe is the centerpiece in the middle for the Bucks, but with Duke product Miles Plumlee hitting the free agency market, Milwaukee may be interested in drafting their local product. Stone, a Milwaukee native, provides more of a skilled scoring compliment to Monroe and the Bucks would be in a position to snatch him should he slip a bit in the second round.

Update (6/23): Sources tell CSN Mid-Atlantic's J. Michael that the Bucks are shopping Monroe for fear he will leave next summer, which could mean they are open and willing to draft Stone.

  • Indiana Pacers (50):

With Ian Mahinmi and Jordan Hill set to hit the free agent market in July, the Pacers could be without their two viable options at center from last season. If Larry Bird decides against bringing either back, Stone could be a possibility to eat up minutes when his buddy Myles Turner cannot play center in a small ball lineup. Despite concerns about his competitive spirit (which Stone believes is a misconception), the former Maryland big believes he has shown enough to be considered a first round pick despite his "off day" at his Indiana workout.

Update (6/23): With the Pacers trading away their 20th pick for Thad Young hours before the draft, it is unlikely that Stone is headed for Indiana.

Robert Carter Jr. (projected to go 47th overall by Draft Express)

  • Los Angeles Clippers (25, 33):

It is unlikely that Doc Rivers’ team will spend either picks on Carter because to be frank it would be a reach. Carter however does fit in well with the way the Clippers like to play two traditional big men, which may leave a glimmer of hope that he could get the call early in the second round. With Paul Pierce contemplating retirement as well as Luc Mbah a Moute and Wesley Johnson becoming free agents (latter having a player option), the Clippers have a PF spot open.

  • Brooklyn Nets (20, 55):

Behind Brook Lopez, the Nets have a lot of young players in the front court that have not panned out so far, which gives Carter the possibility to play in New York City. However, with Carters stock rising ever since the NBA combine it is unlikely that the Georgia Tech transfer would fall this low.

  • Denver Nuggets (7, 15, 19, 53, 56):

With a whopping five draft picks to work with, Denver will likely do some moving around on draft day. Should they look to complement Kenneth Faried with a better shooting yet less athletic power forward, the Nuggets may try and move up (or back depending on how you look at it) to the middle forties to snag Carter. Current backup PF Darrell Arthur is also an impending free agent.

  • Dallas Mavericks (46):

Besides Dwight Powell (an impending free agent), the Mavs do not have any other big under the age of 28 on their roster and that is a major problem for a team that wants to contend in the Western Conference with the quick and athletic Warriors and Thunder. With Dirk Nowitzki looking to retire soon, Carter could come right in and challenge for starting minutes early in his career. Like the Clippers, the Mavs also like to play two bigs that can post up.

  • Phoenix Suns (4, 13, 27, 34):

How awesome would two Maryland bigs playing today be? If the Suns spend their 34th overall pick on Carter we could see a Carter-Len combo off the bench for Phoenix this season. The Suns are in need of a starting caliber stretch-four, which Carter can develop into, after trading away Markieff Morris to the Wizards last season and likely losing Mirza Teletovic in free agency.

  • Houston Rockets (37, 43):

Mike D'Antoni is a heavy offensive minded coach so Carters lack of athleticism to defend other stretch-fours may not be as much of a knock relative to other teams. With Donatas Motiejunas, Terrence Jones, and Josh Smith all free agents in a couple weeks, the Rockets will certainly look for a big that can stretch the floor, unlike Montrezl Harrell or Clint Capela.

  • Indiana Pacers (50):

Since losing David West to the San Antonio Spurs last offseason, the Pacers did not have a true stretch-four and it cost them dearly in the regular season. Carter can come in and contribute immediately for a team the desperately needs a big that can shoot the 3-pointer, which neither Lavoy Allen or Myles Turner have. Don’t see Carter dropping to fifty but if he does the Pacers would likely thank the rest of the NBA for letting him drop.

Update (6/23): With the Pacers picking up Thad Young in a pre-draft trade with the Nets, Carter would be more of a wait and develop player for Indiana as they are no longer in need of power forward help.

  • New York Knicks (None):

New York is a team that could buy the rights to Carter from the team that drafts him, but it might be a stretch that he will play in Madison Square Garden. Krisaps Porzingis had a monster rookie season at power forward but could play minutes at center now that Robin Lopez has been traded to the Bulls. In addition, New York probably brought the Maryland forward in for a work out because backup power forward Derrick Williams is an impending free agency.

  • Toronto Raptors (9, 27):

With Luis Scola, Jason Thompson, and James Johnson all with expriing contracts, Carter would fit in well for the Canadian team; however it would likely require the Raptors trading down in order to not reach for the stretch-four prospect.

  • Boston Celtics (3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58):

With a whopping eight picks, most by far for a single NBA team this year, the Celtics have a lot of maneuverability. Boston has tried to embrace the pace-and-space system in 2015 by acquiring Jonas Jerebko to be their stretch-four when Jared Sullinger proved unable to shoot the 3-pointer. Now with Sullinger up for free agency, Boston could replace him with Carter.

  • Atlanta Hawks (12, 21, 44, 54):

Should Atlanta desire Carter’s talents, they would probably ask him to be a draft and stash candidate. Paul Millsap and Mike Scott take up all the minutes needed at power forward and Carter is simply too small to be an NBA center should the Hawks lose Al Horford and need depth. So unless Carter is willing to go overseas for a season, which former Terps star Dez Wells was not, he may not be able to play for his home state’s team.

  • Orlando Magic (11, 41, 47):

When the Magic traded away Tobias Harris at midseason, they opened up a spot at PF despite Ersan Ilyasova who becomes a free agent next summer. With such a young team, it would make sense for Orlando to keep building a young core and developing them for the future. Carter at 41 or 47 is a definite possibility.

  • Washington Wizards (None):

You might wonder why the DC franchise is bringing in players that will surely be drafted, but it is probably because they are considered trading or buying into the second round. Washington will likely have nine roster spots open on July 1 and they will have to fill some of them with cheap players like rookies. The Wizards sent scouts to Maryland throughout the season last year and if they like what they see and should Carter fall, he could stay in the area.

  • Detroit Pistons (18, 49):

With the Motor City possibly losing their backup power forward in Anthony Tolliver in free agency, Robert Carter Jr. could perfectly slot in behind Marcus Morris. Carter mirrors Morris well with a strong paint game with an okay ability to stretch the floor with his 3-point shooting. I would bet Carter does not last until pick 49 but should he slide the Pistons would probably feel like they got a bargain.

  • Minnesota Timberwolves (5):

It is pretty obvious that Carter will not follow in former Terps big Alex Len’s shoes by being a fifth overall draft pick, but the young budding T-Wolves still asked the Georgia Tech transfer to roll through to a workout just three days before the draft. Even if Minnesota were to trade back significantly or buy into the second round, they have multiple options at power forward before thinking about adding Carter to the mix. Behind rookie of the year Karl Anthony-Towns, Tom Thibodeau also has Nemanja Bjelica and former Michigan State standout Adreian Payne at his disposal.

  • Sacramento Kings (8, 59):

Should the Kings somehow maneuver their way to selecting Carter, likely somewhere around pick 45, he will not be asked to do much in the early goings. Willie Cauley-Stein is the power forward of the future for the California capital and Omri Casspi is still under contract for one more season. Carter would however be an interesting compliment for Cauley-Stein. Where Carter strives is in offensive capabilities something the former Kentucky Wildcat struggles in at times, while the former Terp is not nearly as athletic as the seven-foot Cauley-Stein.

Jake Layman (projected to go 53rd overall by Draft Express)

  • Boston Celtics (3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58):

As a Massachusetts native who grew up less than an hour away from the Celtics’ TD Garden arena, Layman would probably love to be drafted by Boston. Layman is a similar player to the Celtics current stretch-four option Jonas Jerebko and could use the time coming off the bench to put on the necessary weight to battle in the trenches. If Brad Stevens wants Layman on his team the Celtics have a bevy of options to get him given their astounding eight draft picks to work with.

  • Indiana Pacers (50):

With Layman’s body not necessarily NBA ready for the Pacers to play the four-year Maryland forward at power forward, it is more likely that he would play the small version. However with C.J. Miles backing up Paul George, playing time would be hard to come by for Layman. Should the Pacers think his upside is worthy to spend their second round pick on then they might stash him in Europe for a season so that he can bulk up.

  • Toronto Raptors (9, 27):

It would be a miracle for the Raptors to draft Layman in the first round of the NBA Draft but a deal could be struck for them to move down significantly. The Raptors certainly have a need for a stretch-four with Luis Scola, Jason Thompson, and James Johnson all getting ready for free agency. Again Layman's problem of keeping body weight may caution teams for his ability to help right away at the 4 and with DeMarre Carroll and Terrance Ross holding does the fort at small forward, the Raptors may pass on Layman entirely.

  • Charlotte Hornets (22):

Similarly to Toronto, it is unlikely a team like Charlotte will spend their first round and only pick on Layman. However, with Marvin Williams and Nicolas Batum both likely to be paid for then the Hornets can afford, there is a chance that Layman would slide in nicely as a 3-and-D contributor alongside Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at SF should Charlotte move down quite a bit.

Not to forget about graduate transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, but it is highly unlikely he is one of the 60 men drafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. The potential 3-and-D role player could catch on to a team’s training camp before deciding how he wants to continue his basketball career. To my knowledge, the only pre-draft workout the former Duke Blue Devil completed was with the Indiana Pacers.

Neil’s official predictions: Stone to the Spurs 29th overall, Carter to the Magic 41st overall, Layman to the Hawks 54th overall, and Sulaimon joining the Indiana Pacers as a Summer League invite.