Stephon Castle

Jazz’s Sensabaugh, Spurs’ Castle Out For Rest Of Summer League

An MRI has revealed that second-year forward Brice Sensabaugh sustained an extensor tendon tear in his left middle finger during the second quarter of Saturday’s game vs. Dallas, the Jazz announced in a press release (via Twitter).

Sensabaugh’s finger will be splinted and reexamined in about six weeks, which means he’ll miss the remainder of Las Vegas Summer League. Based on that timeline, he’d be reexamined around late August, before training camp begins in the fall.

The 28th pick of the 2023 draft out of Ohio State, Sensabaugh made just four NBA regular season appearances in Utah’s first 53 games leading up to the February trade deadline. After the Jazz traded away veterans for the second consecutive year and tanked down the stretch, the 20-year-old averaged 8.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists on .392/.292/.902 shooting while appearing in 28 of the team’s final 29 games (20.5 MPG).

Sensabaugh, who is known for his shooting and scoring but isn’t a great defender, also appeared in 29 games for Utah’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, as a rookie in 2023/24. He averaged 19.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals on .467/.365/.758 shooting in 29.5 MPG.

Spurs guard Stephon Castle, the fourth pick of last month’s draft out of UConn, will also miss the remainder of Summer League, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (subscription required).

Castle suffered a right wrist sprain in Saturday’s win over Portland — his Spurs debut — in which he recorded 22 points, five rebounds and four assists. The injury is considered minor, but the team didn’t want to risk aggravating it.

I feel like they have my best interests in mind,” Castle said, per Orsborn. “I feel like it’s smart to take the caution route.”

Southwest Notes: Dudley, Lawson, Popovich, Hawkins

Mavericks assistant coach Jared Dudley has made no secret of the fact that he’s hoping to one day serve as a head coach in the league, per Joey Mistretta of ClutchPoints (Twitter video link).

“I want to head coach, that’s my dream and ambition is to be able to do that,” Dudley said. “But at the same time as you can have that, some us aren’t J.J. Redick and get to go right away. I’ve got to be able to do two, three years, four or five years as an assistant. We all have different years, and my time will come later on. My time will eventually come.”

Redick, a one-time former Maverick, took over as the Lakers’ head coach this offseason without any assistant coach experience at the NBA or college level.

Dudley, a 14-year combo forward as a pro, has served as an assistant coach under Jason Kidd since the 2021/22 season. During that window, the Mavericks have appeared in a pair of Western Conference Finals and one NBA Finals. Currently, Dudley is the head coach of the Mavs’ Summer League squad.

There’s more out of the Southwest:

  • High-flying Mavericks wing A.J. Lawson is looking to show he belongs in the league as a regular rotation player, writes Eddie Sefko of Though he’s now on a standard contract, Lawson is still trying to prove his mettle on the club’s Summer League team. “The emphasis for me is definitely going to be defending,” Lawson said of his focus this summer. “I want to show I can defend one through four (point guards to power forwards). And also to be able to knock down the open shot. Everybody knows I got speed.”
  • Longtime Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich discussed San Antonio’s offseason roster additions Chris Paul and Harrison Barnes in a courtside conversation with ESPN’s Doris Burke and Mark Jones (YouTube video link). “I think [Paul’s] going to teach everybody a whole lot better than I did,” Popovich said. “Having he and Harrison come into the fold at this stage in their career is really wonderful for the youth that we have.” Popovich also raved about No. 4 draft pick Stephon Castle: “I love his seriousness for such a young kid. I love his pace – you see his expression never changes – he doesn’t go too fast, doesn’t go too slow. He reads the situations. The more minutes he gets, the better he is going to be. He seeks contact, he is an excellent defender and he makes wonderful decisions.”
  • Second-year Pelicans shooting guard Jordan Hawkins, the No. 14 pick out of UConn in 2023, knows exactly where he wants to improve his game this offseason, writes Christian Clark of “Definitely the defensive end,” Hawkins said. “I think that’s what held me back a little bit. Not being able to guard. So I think my big focus is going to be on guarding. Trying to guard wings. Trying to get bigger. Shooting. Being a 40% three-point shooter for our team. We have guys who can penetrate, get to the hoop. I just have to be able to knock shots down.”

Southwest Notes: Geriot, Murphy, Edey, Castle

Dan Geriot is joining the Pelicans as an assistant coach under Willie Green, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps tweets. Geriot spent the past nine years with the Cavaliers. New Orleans’ interest in Geriot was reported earlier this week.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans wing Trey Murphy, who is participating this summer with the Select Team, said that if Zion Williamson can stay healthy, New Orleans will be a serious contender. “You get to see what a generational talent looks like with a healthy team. That’s the biggest thing. We’ve got to be healthy,” Murphy told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “That’s always been our thing for my entire time in New Orleans. If we have a healthy team, I think we can make a deep run.”
  • Grizzlies lottery pick Zach Edey sat out Friday’s Summer League game against the Kings with a mild ankle sprain, according to Michael Wallace of (Twitter link). Edey is expected to return to action in Las Vegas at some point.
  • Spurs lottery pick Stephon Castle has aspirations to be a starting point guard but it probably won’t happen this year with Chris Paul signing with the club. Castle says he’s looking forward to the experience of playing with and learning from the future Hall of Famer. “I’m super happy about that,” Castle told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “To have a guy like that and play alongside him and have him mentor me a bit, it’s going to be fun.”

Spurs Sign Stephon Castle To Rookie Scale Contract

No. 4 overall pick Stephon Castle has signed his first NBA contract, having finalized his rookie scale deal with the Spurs, according to’s transaction log. The team has confirmed the news in a press release.

Castle, 19, is entering the NBA after winning a national championship at UConn in his first and only college season. The 6’6″ guard averaged 11.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 27.0 minutes per game for the Huskies, earning Big East Freshman of the Year honors and cementing his place as an NBA lottery pick.

Castle struggled as a shooter last season, making just 26.7% of his three-point tries, but he’s a strong defender who will become part of the long-term core in San Antonio alongside Victor Wembanyama. While he views himself as a point guard, the rookie is unlikely to start at the point in 2024/25 for the Spurs, who are poised to bring in Chris Paul in free agency.

As our breakdown of this year’s rookie scale salaries show, Castle’s four-year contract is expected to be worth about $41.4MM, with a first-year salary of $9.1MM.

Western Notes: Edey, Canada, Spurs, Castle, Clippers

The Grizzlies selected back-to-back college Player of the Year Zach Edey with the No. 9 pick in the 2024 draft. The 7’4″ center, who is from Toronto, was on the preliminary roster for the Canadian national team, but he decided to withdraw from consideration for the 12-man roster ahead of the team’s training camp as it prepares for the Olympics in Paris next month, tweets Michael Grange of Edey will be prioritizing his development with Memphis ahead of his rookie NBA season.

“Representing Canada in the Olympics remains a lifelong dream of mine, but for now, I look forward to being the team’s biggest fan from this side of the Atlantic,” Edey said as part of a larger statement (Twitter link via Grange).

Here are a few more notes from around the Western Conference:

  • The Spurs intend to sign future Hall of Famer Chris Paul to a one-year, $11MM+ contract once he clears waivers. That one-year agreement isn’t a coincidence, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News, who hears the team is prioritizing short-term contracts to maximize financial flexibility for the 2025 offseason (Twitter link). The list of free agents for next year can be found here. Of course, it’s possible the Spurs may be more focused on trade possibilities in 2025 than free agency, as they control several future first-round picks.
  • Spurs No. 4 overall pick Stephon Castle is thrilled to team up with reigning Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama, writes Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “Just the thought of playing with him, of course it circulates in your mind, but it really doesn’t feel real until it becomes reality,” Castle said. “So I mean, just to know that that’s going to be my future teammate now, I’m just really excited for what our future looks like.” Castle won a championship with UConn in his lone collegiate season.
  • With Mason Plumlee heading to Phoenix and Daniel Theis, Moussa Diabate and Kai Jones all unrestricted free agents, the Clippers are looking for a new backup big man, per Law Murray of The Athletic. The Clips expect to work out a new deal with Jones and there’s a chance Diabate could be back too, Murray says, but neither player has a proven track record in the NBA.

Spurs Notes: Draft-Night Trade, Wembanyama, Castle, Collins

The Spurs opted for future assets over immediate value with the eighth pick in Wednesday’s draft, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. With UConn guard Stephon Castle already headed to San Antonio at No. 4 and no one else on the board that he really wanted, general manager Brian Wright worked out a deal to send the pick to Minnesota in exchange for an unprotected first-rounder in 2031 and a pick swap in 2030.

Although he admits the pick will eventually be used on some “11-year-old right now,” Wright doesn’t plan to be the one making that selection, as the hope is it will be become a valuable trade chip as the team rebuilds. The immediate benefits from the deal are that the Spurs create an additional $7MM in cap room, giving them roughly $26MM to work with, and they add to a collection of draft assets that now includes 11 first-rounders over the next seven years.

“Those decisions are always difficult because you do all the work on the draft, and there’s definitely players that you like,” Wright said. “But you have to weigh the calculus on what’s best for the future. And we felt like the package that we got was one that made sense to move off of the eighth pick for.”

There’s more from San Antonio:

  • Wright said it’s “TBD” if Spanish point guard Juan Nunez, who was selected with the 36th pick, will be brought to the NBA next season, McDonald adds. Wright called Nunez, who will play for Spain in this year’s Olympics, “probably the best pick-and-roll player in the draft as a passer and creator.” The Spurs expect Harrison Ingram, who was selected at No. 48, to join Castle on their Summer League team and compete for a two-way contract at training camp.
  • Victor Wembanyama is “very happy” with the decision to take Castle at No. 4, per Tom Orsborn of The Express-News. He welcomed his new teammate via FaceTime after the pick was announced. “(Castle) is one of the most NBA-ready players in this draft and a very good person too,” Wembanyama said during a press conference at the French Basketball Federation.
  • Zach Collins is making progress after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder that he suffered in the final game of the season, Orsborn adds.“He’s doing great,” Wright said. “He’s working hard every day. Obviously, it was unfortunate, but you guys know Zach. He’s a hard worker and he’s been there before. He’s super competitive, so he attacks his rehab like he attacks the game, so he’s doing really well.”
  • Orsborn notes that the Spurs have several financial decisions left to make this summer. Devonte’ Graham has a $2.85MM guarantee on his $12.65MM salary for next season, and the team must waive him by Monday to avoid paying the full amount. Salaries of $3MM for Julian Champagnie and $2.5MM for Charles Bassey both become fully guaranteed if they’re still on the roster August 1.

Grizzlies To Acquire No. 53 Pick Cam Spencer From Wolves

JUNE 28, 10:33am: The Timberwolves will acquire a future second-round pick from the Grizzlies to move down from No. 53 to No. 57, and cash considerations from the Raptors for No. 57, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

JUNE 27, 5:16pm: The Timberwolves are swapping the No. 53 pick to the Grizzlies for the No. 57 pick, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium tweets. Minnesota will then send the No. 57 pick to the Raptors, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

UConn shooting guard Cam Spencer was taken with the No. 53 and he’ll now join the Grizzlies. Spencer played a key role in UConn’s championship run this past season, averaging 14.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists after transferring from Rutgers. He also played three seasons at Loyola Maryland. Spencer shot 44% from beyond the 3-point arc for the Huskies and knocked 41.7% of his 3s in 132 college games.

He’s the fourth UConn player to get selected in this draft. Stephon Castle and Donovan Clingan were chosen in the lottery and Tristen Newton was also selected in the second round.

Cameroon big man Ulrich Chomche was chosen at No. 57 and he’ll join Toronto. He spent this past season with the NBA Academy Africa. He only played three games during the Basketball Africa League qualifiers, in which he averaged 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and one steal per game. Overall, he averaged 8.5 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 blocks in 26 games last season.

He’s the first player from the NBA Academy to be drafted.

Minnesota, in a cap-saving move, agreed to trade shooting guard Wendell Moore Jr. and the 37th pick to Detroit earlier in the day. The Pistons used that pick to select forward Bobi Klintman.

Essentially, the Timberwolves made three deals to trade out of the second round.

Draft Rumors: Knicks, Sixers, Dillingham, Heat, Jazz, Lakers, More

After surrendering several future first-round picks in their trade agreement for Mikal Bridges, the Knicks are now considered more likely to keep their three picks – No. 24, No. 25, and No. 38 – in this year’s draft, which begins on Wednesday night, Jonathan Givony writes in ESPN’s latest mock draft (Insider link).

The updated mock draft from Givony and ESPN’s Jeremy Woo includes several more notable tidbits, including the fact that the Sixers have conducted perhaps the fewest pre-draft workouts of any team with a first-round pick, resulting in speculation that the No. 16 selection will be traded.

Givony also provides an update on Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham, who wasn’t able to work out for teams for most of the pre-draft process due to an ankle injury. According to Givony, teams picking both earlier and later in the first round are trying to figure out where they might need to get to in order to land Dillingham, who has been considered a candidate to fall further than initially anticipated.

The Heat at No. 15 would be one option for Dillingham, as rival teams expect them to select a guard at that spot. Jared McCain, Isaiah Collier, and Carlton Carrington have also been mentioned as candidates for Miami at No. 15, Givony writes.

Here’s more on the 2024 NBA draft, which gets underway in less than 11 hours:

  • According to Givony, the Jazz (No. 10) have looked into some trade-up scenarios involving the Pistons‘ No. 5 overall pick. Their likely target would be UConn’s Stephon Castle, who is considered a possibility for the Hornets at No. 6 but may also come off the board at No. 4 to the Spurs, Givony explains.
  • Some rival executives think the Lakers will attempt to move up from No. 17 in the draft in order to target a specific player, according to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times, who says Providence’s Devin Carter and Baylor’s Ja’Kobe Walter are two prospects the team likes.
  • Within his final look at the Spurs‘ draft options at No. 4 and 8, LJ Ellis of SpursTalk says a rumor that San Antonio has made a promise to French forward Tidjane Salaun has been “spreading like wildfire in the draft world,” though he hasn’t been able to confirm it himself. Ellis lists Salaun at No. 5 on his big board of Spurs draft prospects.
  • Salaun is also a potential target to watch for the Trail Blazers at No. 7, according to Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report (Substack link), who identifies Donovan Clingan, Cody Williams, Dalton Knecht, and Salaun as the prospects he believes Portland is most interested in. At No. 14, Highkin views Kyshawn George, Tristan Da Silva, Kel’el Ware, and Zach Edey as the Blazers’ most likely targets.

Draft Notes: Clingan, Edey, Top Tiers, Sleepers, Positional Breakdown, Bannan

The NBA has gone away from traditional big men like UConn’s Donovan Clingan and Purdue’s Zach Edey. Yet Clingan is expected to be a top-five pick and Edey could sneak into the lottery. They matched up in the national championship game and Purdue coach Matt Painter was impressed by Clingan’s ability as a help defender.

“The No. 1 thing for us wasn’t Clingan’s defense on Zach, it was Clingan’s defense in help,” Painter told ESPN’s Jeremy Woo. “We thought he was a really good post defender, but also thought Zach would have that advantage. I thought Zach had more success in that game, but where Clingan does his work and where he’s special is on the weak side coming over, helping out on drives, having that timing and the discipline to stay down. To be the second jumper, block or change shots.”

Painter believes Edey will silence the critics who don’t feel his game translates to the NBA level.

“A lot of people will say, professionally, no, you can’t do more than what you’ve done [in college]. I think that’s a fair statement most of the time,” Painter said. “But for Zach, he still was going into his sixth, seventh year of basketball … he did improve and make big strides into this last year, and he’s just going to keep doing that. I don’t think he’s going to stop. He’s kind of defied the odds already, and I think he’s going to keep defying the odds.”

Woo also spoke with UConn coach Dan Hurley to get his thoughts on what Clingan and Edey bring to the table.

We have more draft-related tidbits:

  • Clingan, Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard, UConn swingman Stephon Castle and G League Ignite forward Ron Holland rank as tier-one prospects, otherwise labeled “best bets in a bad class,” according to The Athletic’s John Hollinger. Overall, Hollinger ranks 75 prospects via a 15-tier system, with the last tier being two-way contract candidates.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony offers up his top sleeper prospects at each position. Among that group are UCLA center Adem Bona and Arizona power forward Keshad Johnson.
  • Another veteran NBA reporter, The Athletic’s David Aldridge, solicits opinions from coaches,  executives and scouts to evaluate the guard, forward and big men prospects expected to come off the board.
  • Australian forward Josh Bannan, who played three seasons at Montana before joining the Brisbane Bullets this past season, has worked out for approximately 10 NBA teams, ESPN’s Olgun Uluc tweets. The Suns, Magic, Lakers, Clippers and Warriors are among the teams who brought him in for a workout.

Draft Notes: Rockets, Wizards, Suns, France, Big Boards

The Rockets may be more interested in moving their pick than keeping it, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reports. Offers for the selection are expected to be entertained until Houston is on the clock at No. 3 in Wednesday’s draft. If Houston does stand pat at No. 3, Reed Sheppard appears to be the heavy favorite for that spot. The Trail Blazers are among the teams that have called the Rockets about moving up to No. 3 in the draft.

According to Fischer, the Wizards have the league convinced they’re honing in on Perth’s Alexandre Sarr. As reported, Sarr hasn’t conducted a private workout for the Hawks, holders of the No. 1 selection, and Fischer reports Sarr’s preferred destination is, in fact, Washington. Beyond their plans at No. 2, the Wizards are a “prime candidate” to move up from No. 26 and have also been seeking a third first-round pick, Says Fischer.

Further down the draft, the Suns are a strong candidate to trade down from No. 22. The goal for the Suns, Fischer writes, would be to accumulate future second-round picks to restock their draft capital for trade flexibility. Additionally, the idea of adding inexpensive rookie contracts onto an expensive roster appeals to Phoenix.

We have more from around the draft:

  • A flood of talent is following 2023 No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama from France, Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek writes. His former teammate Bilal Coulibaly was selected No. 7 overall in last year’s draft and another ex-teammate, Armel Traore, could be in play in the second round of this year’s draft. Additionally, Zaccharie Risacher and Sarr are seen as the favorites for the top two draft selections in this class, while Tidjane Salaun, Melvin Ajinca and Pacome Dadiet are all likely to be selected this year too. Down the line, Nolan Traore and Nathan Soliman are picking up steam in future draft classes.
  • Risacher, Sarr and UConn’s Donovan Clingan, in that order, round out ESPN’s top three players on Jonathan Givony’s final big board update before the draft. Givony and Jeremy Woo provide their picks for the top 100 players in the class, with Sheppard, G League Ignite’s Matas Buzelis, UConn’s Stephon Castle, Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham, Salaun, and Serbia’s Nikola Topic filling in the rest of their top 10 (in that order).
  • Risacher is lower on Sam Vecenie’s draft board at The Athletic, with the French wing coming in at No. 5. Salaun, Buzelis, Dillingham and Topic all sit outside the top 10 of Vecenie’s annual draft guide, while he ranks Colorado’s Cody Williams (No. 6), Providence’s Devin Carter (No. 7), Pitt’s Carlton Carrington (No. 8) and Ron Holland of the G League Ignite (No. 10) among the top 10. I highly recommend both Givony’s and Vecenie’s draft guides if you have a subscription to either platform, as this is some of the top draft content to come out annually.
  • Clingan is the name most linked to the Hawks over the past week, Vecenie writes in a recent mock draft. While Atlanta has openly stated it is content with standing pat at No. 1, Vecenie hears there’s an impression the club is open to making a move if the right deal presents itself. However, Atlanta hasn’t finalized its decision yet and even if it wanted to trade down to select him later, Chicago and Memphis have expressed interest in taking Clingan themselves if they can trade up. Vecenie indeed has Washington landing Sarr and Houston getting Sheppard, but has Risacher falling to San Antonio at No. 4, Buzelis going No. 5 to Detroit and Castle landing in Charlotte at No. 6.