Spurs Stephon Castle on Teaming with Wemby, Joining Chris Paul, and More

Spurs' Stephon Castle on Teaming with Wemby, Joining Chris Paul, and More
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Nearly two weeks ago, the San Antonio Spurs selected former UConn star Stephon Castle with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Castle, a 6-foot-6 guard with a 6-9 wingspan, is poised to become one of the best on-ball defenders in his draft class.

During the final game of the California Classic in Sacramento, Castle delivered an impressive performance with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. His elite basketball IQ and versatility promise a significant impact on Gregg Popovich’s team in his rookie season.

The Spurs, who also had the No. 8 pick in the draft, traded it to the Minnesota Timberwolves for future first-round picks. Additionally, San Antonio signed 11-time NBA All-Star point guard Chris Paul after he was waived by the Warriors and acquired Harrison Barnes in a three-team sign-and-trade deal involving DeMar DeRozan.

Castle has expressed a desire to play point guard, despite primarily playing off-ball in college. His versatility allows him to adapt to various roles, including playing alongside Chris Paul or as the primary PG to gain valuable experience during the Spurs’ rebuild.

After the California Classic, Castle sat down with to discuss his Summer League debut, his fit with Victor Wembanyama, his national title win at UConn, and his expectations for the upcoming NBA season.

Cameron Salerno: What have the last three months been like for you? Winning a national championship at UConn, getting drafted No. 4, and now playing in the Summer League?

Stephon Castle: It’s been super fun. I love playing basketball, so the journey I’ve been on, especially the last couple of months, coming off a national championship and then joining an organization like the Spurs and playing in the Summer League, is all a basketball player could really ask for.

Salerno: Your coach at UConn, Dan Hurley, was heavily pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this NBA offseason. What do you think it says about him that he stayed put?

Castle: It shows how authentic he is. Before I committed to UConn, just watching their practices and talking to him, I saw how genuine he was as a person and a coach. I feel he’s the greatest coach in college basketball right now. His decision to stay speaks highly of UConn and the players he’s producing.

Salerno: Chris Paul and Harrison Barnes joined the Spurs this week. Have you talked to them yet?

Castle: I’ve talked to them briefly. Having such experienced vets to guide me is invaluable. They will show me the right and wrong ways to do things, and having that in my rookie year is all I could ask for. I can’t wait to play with them.

Salerno: How does your skill set complement Victor Wembanyama?

Castle: Wemby is incredibly versatile with his size and playmaking ability. Defensively, with me guarding the ball and him protecting the rim, we’ll be a scary duo for the league once we’re acclimated. Playing with him will be fun and elevate my game.

Salerno: What do you see your role as in the NBA? Do you see yourself as a true point guard or playing more off the ball?

Castle: I’m comfortable anywhere on the court. While I’m probably most comfortable on the ball, I feel 100% confident playing off the ball as well. With our team, I believe we’ll have five guys who can dribble, pass, and shoot, making positions less relevant.

Salerno: UConn has a chance for a three-peat. What do you think of their chances to win another title in 2025?

Castle: Having been there and seen how things are run, I believe UConn is the team to beat again. Their deep roster and experienced coaching staff put them in a strong position to three-peat.

Salerno: Do you think your UConn assistant coaches will land high-major head coaching jobs in the future?

Castle: Absolutely. They’re incredibly smart and see the game well. They can excel in any situation, whether as assistants or head coaches. I have complete confidence in them and trust they can handle any adversity.


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