The Atlanta Hawks played the role of cap relief partner in this endeavor. They were rewarded with a first round pick—getting rerouted to Atlanta from Los Angeles by way of Houston—and former Maryland basketball star Diamond Stone. Jamal Crawford was also included in the deal, but he's expected to be bought out for the opportunity to seek a late career payday elsewhere.
Stone will still play in the Vegas Summer League, except now he’ll suit up for the Hawks. While most of the West has spent the summer stockpiling assets for a run at the Warriors, Stone should benefit from heading back East to play next season.
On the Clippers, Stone was stuck behind DeAndre Jordan on a team attempting to capitalize on the primes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Jordan. Paul’s gone, but the Clippers think Gallinari could be the missing piece of their frontcourt. The trade also helps Denver get the cap space to sign Hawks free agent Paul Millsap to try to take its young core to the playoffs.
Atlanta’s going young and waiting out the Warriors-Cavaliers dominance. Recognizing their rank in the hierarchy of championship contenders, the Hawks hit reset. They hired general manager Travis Schlenk away from the eventual champions at the end of May. Now they will shift their focus to a younger core, centered around Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroeder. Stone is much closer to the Hawks’ new timeline for contention.
After the trade, he’s one of just two centers Atlanta has signed for next season. The Hawks picked up Miles Plumlee, the eldest of the brothers, in the Dwight Howard trade. He’s set to make $12.5 million next season, while Stone is on a much more team friendly contract, making just over $1.3 million. The Hawks have been linked to free agent big man Nerlens Noel recently, though the Mavericks own the right to match any offer.
The Hawks aren’t done making moves, but at the moment, it’s hard to predict what they’ll look like in the fall. Though the Hawks are being used for cap space, when you add in free agent cap holds, Crawford’s salary currently puts the team over the league’s salary cap. It takes way too long to explain, but Peachtree Hoops breaks it down well.
At 20, Stone has shown flashes of the upside that made him the No. 6 recruit in the nation, though with limited opportunity. This trade gives the former Terp a fresh start, and adds another young prospect to an organization going back to the drawing board.
Stone will make his debut for the Hawks organization from July 7-17 in Vegas. He’ll join Hawks first round pick John Collins in the team’s opener against the Nets Friday at 8 p.m.
In other news
After sitting out the Sixers summer league opener, Melo Trimble officially made his professional debut last night against the Utah Jazz. In 10 minutes, he totaled three points, three rebounds, two assists and two turnovers.
And Melo Trimble's first professional point comes—you'll never believe this—at the free throw line.— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) July 6, 2017
Trimble should get a lot more time in the final day of the Utah league, as No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz won’t play, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey.
Three-star defensive back Noah Boykin committed to Maryland yesterday, becoming DJ Durkin’s 14th commit for 2018.
With Boykin’s commitment, Maryland moves to No. 18 in the country. For his work as a recruiter, Terps defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim is now a top-10 recruiter for the 2018 cycle.
After being named to the Rimington watch list for the second straight preseason, Brendan Moore looks like Maryland’s anchor on the offensive line.
Here’s a TV guide from InsideMdSports to get your Maryland basketball fix for the month.