Who the heck is Julyan Stone?

DENVER -- Some guy named Julyan Stone is expected to start at small forward for the Denver Nuggets tonight.

Never heard of him? Don’t feel too bad. He’s an undrafted rookie out of UTEP who has spent a good chunk of this season playing for the D-League’s Idaho Stampede.

Stone made his NBA starting debut in Monday’s loss against the Houston Rockets, filling in for shooting guard Arron Afflalo with a two-point, 1-of-5 shooting, two-rebound, one-assist performance in 20 minutes. Stone is expected to slide over to small forward against the Mavs, replacing Denver scoring leader Danilo Gallinari (severe sprained ankle) and allow Nuggets coach George Karl to keep Al Harrington and Rudy Fernandez as part of a potent bench.

Rick Carlisle’s scouting report on the 6-foot-7, 200-pound Stone: “He’s an athletic, aggressive wing player who is a capable scorer and a guy we have to respect. He’s a little like the kid Forbes who played here last year, but not as tall.”

The comparison to Gary Forbes ought to get the Mavs’ attention. Now with the Raptors, Forbes was an unknown and scored 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting in 36 minutes over two games against the Mavs in early November last season.