5 Players the Lakers can only dream of falling to No. 17 at 2024 NBA Draft

The Los Angeles Lakers have the No. 17 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. If the rumor is true, trading up could net a captivating player.
Purdue v Connecticut
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Stephon Castle, Connecticut Huskies

While Devin Carter is among the best defensive prospects in this class, Stephon Castle may be the definitive No. 1 player in that regard. Ferociously competitive and willing to take on players at multiple positions, Castle was a key piece of the Connecticut Huskies' championship puzzle.

It's highly unlikely that he'll slide to No. 17 at the 2024 NBA Draft, but with the Los Angeles Lakers exploring a possible trade up, he's the perfect player to go all-in on.

Castle was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and he lived up to the hype by winning the Big East Freshman of the Year award. He was the top perimeter defender on a UConn team that not only won the National Championship, but did so by ranking ninth in the country in scoring defense.

On the offensive end of the floor, Castle has a captivating skill set that has some questioning if he could even develop into a 6'6" point guard.

Regardless of which position he plays, Castle's defensive acumen, finishing ability, and raw physical tools are compelling, He boasts a 6'9" wingspan and a strong 210-pound frame, and has the lateral quickness and agility to thrive in isolation on either end of the floor.

Questions exist about his jump shot, but just watching him defend, attack in isolation with skills beyond his years, and finish with poise around the basket makes it easy to see All-Star potential.

If the Lakers find a way to trade up, Castle is the player to do it for.