Deep dive into the most popular draft prospects for the Pistons

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5. Stephon Castle - University of Connecticut

Strengths: Defensive Impact & Finishing Ability Weaknesses: 3PT Shooting & Perimeter Self-Creation

Big East Freshman of the Year and NCAA Champion Stephon Castle is highly-regarded as one of the more NBA-ready players in the 2024 draft class. Averaging 11 points per game, 2.9 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game along with 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks, saying the 19 year-old is NBA-ready is not a reach.

Castle is not the flashy, sharpshooting guard that is attractive to many, but he has the abilities that help a team win. One of the highlights of his game is his defensive impact. Having leadership traits in his ability to be vocal off the ball and be a positive help defender, Castle has many of the non-box score attriubtes that help a team succeed, which we saw at his one year at UConn. A strong point of attack defender, Castle's 6-foot-5 210lb frame and 6-foot-9 wingspan allow him to stay in front of the ball and greatly absorb contact. He is versatile with matchups, able to guard the 1-3 positions and has shown great elusiveness and physicality against the pick-and-roll. On the offensive side of the ball,

Castle uses his size and elusiveness to his advantage, being able to push into the paint with ease. Moving very frequently off of the ball, Castle shot 60 percent as a cutter and has shown flashes of being a potential lob threat, which is not common for a primary ballhandler.

The biggest room to improve for Castle is his 3PT shooting, as he only 26.7 percent from three on the season. He has shown hesitancy to shoot when open, passing up on many easy looks. Off the catch, Castle was not very efficient either, only shooting 26.3 percent on 57 shots from deep. Castle's game never was shoot-first, but it is an area that needs to be improved upon if he wants to be a primary ballhandler in the NBA, where it won't be as easy to get to the paint. Adding to this, Castle lacks in self-creation on the perimeter. He is not super quick on the first step, and would rather look to pass or drive than create a look. Castle only shot 26.8 percent off the dribble, and made only 5/17 threes off the dribble.

Castle's age takes a lot of the stress off of these concerns, however, as being one of the younger players in the draft gives him lots of time to acclimate to new play styles and improve his shooting.