Bulls Sign Center Diamond Stone

By Cody Westerlund–

(CBS) The rebuilding Bulls have taken a flier on a young center who had a disappointing rookie season.

Chicago has signed 20-year-old Diamond Stone, the team announced Thursday morning. The deal includes a partial guarantee of $50,000, Chris Reichert reported. Stone was a second-round pick in 2016 who averaged 1.4 points in 3.4 minutes in seven games for the Clippers last season, a portion of which he also spent in the G-League, where he averaged 16.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 13 games for Santa Cruz and Salt Lake City.

A Maryland product, Stone was then traded to the Hawks in the offseason and waived in late July.

It will be an uphill challenge for Stone to make the roster out of training camp, with a crowded frontcourt situation that includes veteran Robin Lopez, the probable return of restricted free agent Nikola Mirotic and the need to develop youngsters Cristiano Felicio, Bobby Portis and rookie Lauri Markkanen. If he doesn’t make the team, Stone will likely land with the Windy City Bulls of the G-League.

It’s possible more opportunity opens up for Stone and others as the Bulls’ season goes on. As the Bulls have embarked on a rebuild with the trade of Jimmy Butler on draft night, Lopez has become a prime trade chip who could be flipped to a contender. He has $28 million left on his contract in the next two seasons and has proved to be a reliable starting center. Buyout rumors has also persistently surrounding veteran guard Dwyane Wade, who’s said nothing more than that he plans to report for training camp on Sept. 25.

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. He’s also the co-host of the @LockedOnBulls podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.

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