The Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ Julyan Stone Second in D-League in Assists

Julyan Stone is racking up assists with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA Development League.

Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ Julyan Stone sits at second place in the NBA Development League in assists with an average of 9.4 per a game.

He’s also tallied four double-doubles in six games this season. That ties him for fifth in the league with nine other players. Stone has racked up three points-assists double-doubles in six games. He almost pulled off a triple-double against the Sioux Falls Skyforce with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.

Stone joined the Mad Ants after the Pacers waived him after playing for the team during the preseason. While scoring only one point for the Pacers during that time, Stone contributed in other ways. In the Pacers’ 101-83 preseason win against the Bucks, Stone pulled down seven rebounds, tallied two assists, grabbed one steal, and recorded a block.

Previous NBA and international career

Prior to playing for the Pacers during the preseason, Stone played three seasons in the NBA and two seasons overseas. After four years with the University of Texas at El Paso, Stone signed as a free agent with the Denver Nuggets. For two years he alternated between the Nuggets and playing in the D-League for the Idaho Stampede in 2012 and the Iowa Energy in 2013. The Toronto Raptors in 2014 picked up Stone in 2014 and waived him at the end of the season.

Stone averaged 1.6 ppg in 2012 and 1.8 ppg for the Nuggets in 2012 and 2013 respectively. He scored only 0.9 ppg when he played for the Raptors.

In D-League play Stone averaged 7.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 7.0 apg for the Stampede in 2012. Stone’s averages slipped to 3.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, and 3.0 apg for the Energy in 2013.

in 2015, Stone played in Italy for Umana Reyer Venezia (Italy-Serie A) and averaged 7.1 ppg. With his 7.6 rpg and 4.1 apg averages, Stone made several Top 10 leaderboards for assists and rebounds.

Stone appeared in one preseason game for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2015. The following year Stone joined Royal Hali (Turkey). While averaging only 4.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 1.8 apg during the regular season, Stone bounced back during Europe Cup play with 7.0 rpg, 6.6 rpg and 2.6 apg averages.

Prior to joining the Pacers’ 2016 preseason team, Stone played in the Las Vegas Summer League with the Milwaukee Bucks. Stone put up 2.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg, and 2.2 rpg.

Can Stone come back to the NBA?

Stone has performed considerably better for the Mad Ants than he did in his previous D-League stints. In addition to his 10.3 apg, Stone is averaging 10.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg for the team.

Yet the question remains if Stone can score in the NBA. He didn’t get many opportunities when he played for the Pacers during the preseason. The only game Stone played a significant amount of minutes during the preseason was in the Pacers’ 101-83 home win against the Bucks.  Yet he took only two shots during 21 minutes of playing time.

While playing for the Bucks’ Summer League team, he totaled 93 minutes of play. However, he took only 17 shots from the floor in the five games he played.

But some experts feel Stone might have a chance in coming back to the NBA. In Week 3 of the NBA Development League Prospect Watch, Stone received 18 votes to come within four points of making the list of 25 players.

And if Stone continues to rank high in the league in assists, it will his chances of returning to the NBA.

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