Castle's Summer League debut was a statement to his doubters

Stephon Castle made his Summer League debut against the Charlotte Hornets and showed San Antonio Spurs fans what he can do on the offensive side of the ball.
Stephon Castle
Stephon Castle / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

You always have to take Summer League play with a grain of salt. The guys are out there fighting to prove that they belong in the NBA, but the teams are still comprised of lesser talent. Things are often vastly different once the real NBA games tip off, but that doesn't mean there aren't nuggets of information to be gathered from watching the athletes compete. San Antonio Spurs first-round draft pick Stephon Castle took the floor in his SL debut and gave fans some pertinent intel.

Castle has a high floor on offense

The concerns for Castle were about his ability to run the offense as the primary point guard and whether he could shoot the ball at a high enough percentage from three to space the floor for his teammates. In his first Summer League action versus the Charlotte Hornets, he bore the responsibility as the ball handler, and he looked comfortable in the position.

The UConn standout maneuvered around screens, facilitated to his team and was aggressive at the point of attack. His strength will give him an advantage over smaller defenders while allowing him to attack with larger ones. He'll have varying degrees of success in that regard, as all rookies do. I was impressed by his willingness to stop in the midrange and throw up a floater or pull up for a jump shot.

His shooting form looked smooth, so it shouldn't take him too long to make himself into a respectable three-point shooter, and with the space he's bound to get from Wembanyama's gravity, he needs to be able to knock down shots. He did that against the Charlotte Hornets, going 2/4 from distance. The Spurs lost this game 97-65, and Castle was the only one on the squad to finish the night with a positive plus/minus score.

You can see how valuable he'll be on defense. His size will allow him to absorb contact and disrupt offenses. The defense will, once again, be San Antonio's calling card. Castle will be very important to that. That was never in doubt. The question was about his ceiling as a point guard, but learning from Chris Paul is going to do wonders for this kid's trajectory. He's going to be just fine.

Stephon Castle ended the game with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. The San Antonio Spurs will play their second Summer League game tonight at 9:00 pm CT against the Sacramento Kings.