The pros and cons of Houston Rockets selecting Stephon Castle

Is Stephon Castle the right choice for the Houston Rockets?
Is Stephon Castle the right choice for the Houston Rockets? / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Regarding the NBA Draft, "fit" can be a nebulous concept.

It means multiple things. Does a player fit with the players who are currently on the roster? Do they fit the team's broader philosophy? What about the team's culture?

Yet, some would dismiss the concept when a team has a high pick. They'd argue that you should always draft the best player available. Even that notion is wrought with ambiguity. Is the best player available the player with the most potential, or the player who's been the most productive to date?

The Houston Rockets will have to wrestle with these questions with the third overall pick. Recently, CBS Sports had them selecting UConn guard Stephon Castle.

Is that the right move?

The pros of Houston Rockets selecting Stephon Castle

Castle certainly fits with the Rockets' team philosophy.

He's a dogged defender. At 6'6", Castle is a big guard who can switch onto wings and remain effective. He should be able to guard 1-through-3 at the NBA level, and he'll be able to handle some smaller 4s as well.

Castle is more than just a defensive specialist, too. He's shown some ability to run an offense - more on that later. Castle averaged 4.9 assists and 2.5 turnovers per 75 possessions last season. That's not necessarily indicative of an elite playmaker, but Castle is a solid passer.

He's also a strong finisher. Castle shot 54.4% on two-point attempts last year. His 26.7% accuracy on threes is unfortunate, but he's not as far away from being a jump shooter as, say, Amen Thompson.

Did someone say Amen Thompson?

The cons of Houston Rockets selecting Stephon Castle

How many non-shooting guards can the Rockets draft?

Castle may be further along as a shooter than Thompson, but he's still a weak shooter. Given that Thompson is the superior athlete and passer, the Rockets may be wise to simply invest in the guy they already have.

If Castle's star potential was undeniable, we'd sing a different tune. Leaving a clear star on the board to draft for fit can be a fatal mistake. Yet, Castle doesn't have that type of potential. He's a good young player who should have a solid NBA career, but if his shot doesn't develop, he likely doesn't have the chops to compensate as a lead ball-handler.

In short, Castle may be Dejounte Murray if his defense didn't regress - but he may be Tony Allen with a few inches of height. That's a good player, but Thompson has the potential to be something special.

So does Alperen Sengun. If the Rockets are going to lean into him as an offensive engine, they need to eventually surround him with shooting. Even Jalen Green is going to need a properly spaced floor if he's ever going to take a permanent star leap.

Have you figured out where we stand on Castle yet?

Houston Rockets should probably avoid Castle

Reed Sheppard and his 52.1% three-point accuracy is right there.

Yes, basketball is about more than shooting. Still, there's no denying that three-point accuracy has a correlation with star power in the modern NBA. Sheppard isn't strictly the better fit for Houston - in our estimate, he's a better prospect.

The Rockets are developing a defensive identity. Castle would fit that identity. Still, it's hard to envision any formation of this offense that helps Castle. This team has enough players who need the ball, and not enough players who space the floor.

There's nothing nebulous about that.