3 ways Devin Vassell can become a top 5 shooting guard in the NBA

Devin Vassell has established himself as one of the core pieces of the San Antonio Spurs but he can still take his game to another level.

San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings
San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Vassell needs to demand constant attention as a catch and shoot threat

I'll preface this section by saying that I know I'm being nitpicky. But taking a leap to cement yourself as a top-five player at your position requires critical attention to the details and the small areas where you can make incremental improvements.

To be clear, Devin is already a great catch-and-shoot three-point threat. He's shooting 39 percent on catch-and-shoot three-point attempts this season, which is a very respectable mark. But it is down from his 43 percent rate from last season.

To lock himself in as a top-five shooting guard, Vassell needs to command the kind of defensive attention that fans saw shooters like Klay Thompson, JJ Reddick, Khris Middleton, or Michael Porter Jr. demand. That means shooting at least 43 percent from beyond the arc and holding that mark consistently.

To be fair to Vassell, a marginal year-over-year decline in catch-and-shoot three-point shooting is a pretty small thing to call out. It's not like he's fallen apart from deep; he's just not as good as he was last season. But a lot goes into that decline, such as the quality of passes he's getting—if they're directly in his shooting pocket or if he has to make slight adjustments that give a defender time to close out—as well as the greater emphasis he's put on pull-up attempts this season.

But for Vassell and the Spurs to reach their peak, we need to know that Vassell can reliably hit 40+ percent of his catch-and-shoot looks from deep. Victor Wembanyama will routinely demand double teams in the post for the rest of his career. If he can use his length and already developed passing ability to turn those double-teams into opportunities to find Devin for easy catch-and-shoot looks, it will go a long way toward improving the Spurs' league-worst 34.6 percent three-point shooting rate.