Blazers 2024 NBA Draft prospect No. 3: Stephon Castle, forward, Connecticut
Stephon Castle is a dynamic 6-foot-6, 205-pound guard/forward committed to UConn. He’s one of the best athletes in the class with exceptional two-way potential. Given his size and athleticism, Castle has a ton of defensive versatility, enabling him to guard multiple positions effectively.
Offensively, Castle is an excellent ball handler and playmaker for his size. He does well with the ball in his hands in pick-and-roll situations. If he doesn’t have the ball, Castle is most effective offensively as a slasher or rim runner who utilizes his size, athleticism and finishing ability.
One notable area of improvement Castle should target is his shooting consistency. Like many forwards coming into the league, Castle’s success will heavily depend on how well he can space the floor.
While he can certainly contribute as an impactful defender, playmaker and slasher, Castle’s NBA ceiling will be limited if he can’t improve his shot. Luckily, he’s still only 18 years old and has plenty of time.
Castle is currently projected to be a top-10 selection in 2024.
Castle’s potential fit with the Blazers
Despite his size, Castle possesses the ball-handling finesse and court vision typically associated with guards.
However, Castle’s skill set could present a strategic advantage and help the Blazers double down on their strengths. His size, adept ball-handling, athleticism and playmaking ability make him an ideal candidate for transition play and initiating offense in pick-and-roll scenarios.
This potential role aligns with the Blazers’ style of play that should thrive on fast breaks and quick decision making. Castle could elevate the team’s offensive efficiency and create a new dimension within their gameplay for head coach Chauncey Billups.
Castle’s ability to switch defensively and guard multiple positions could mitigate a weakness in the team’s lineup and contribute to a more well-rounded defensive strategy. Outside Matisse Thybulle, the Blazers are hurting for two-way players and forwards. Castle could help fill both needs while helping the Blazers develop a new team identity as a fast-paced squad with multiple players capable of either handling the ball in transition or initiating half-court offensive sets.