Meet the Detroit Pistons’ Newest Draft Selection: Ausur Thompson

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 22: Ausar Thompson (R) poses with NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) after being drafted fifth overall pick by the Detroit Pistons during the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

By Isaac Constans

June 23, 2023

The Pistons rookie already owns an NBA record.

“With the fifth pick of the 2023 NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons select Ausar Thompson from Oakland, California, and Overtime Elite.”

That announcement last night from NBA commissioner Adam Silver means that Detroit basketball has another exciting young player on its roster. Thompson is an athletic, 6-foot-5-inch wing with tenacious defense and a graceful touch around the rim. He joins the Pistons core of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Ivey—all top “lottery,” or top 14, picks from the previous two years.

Here are three things to know about Thompson.

  1. He has a twin brother, Amen, who was selected the pick prior in the draft by the Houston Rockets. The duo becomes the first pair of brothers both taken in the top five of the same draft. It’ll be the first time that they haven’t lived together as well. Apparently, Ausar gets to take the PlayStation with him to Detroit. “I’m losing everything. It’s like a bad divorce,” his brother Amen said.
  2. The Thompson twins took an unconventional path to the NBA, foregoing college to play at Overtime Elite, a new professional basketball league featuring top young prospects. Ausar won MVP of the league last year. When asked whether it was harder to scout Thompson since he didn’t play college ball, Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver said, “When you see something different, see something elite, you know it. I think Halle Berry is pretty in church or in the grocery store.”
  3. Weaver, the Pistons GM, said he selected Thompson to shore up the team’s defense and compared him to Andre Iguodala, a jack-of-all-trades who won a Finals MVP with the Golden State Warriors.

The Pistons also traded up in the first round to pick Marcus Sasser, a tough-nosed guard from the University of Houston. When the season begins in October, the players will line up for a new coach, Monty Williams, who won Coach of the Year just a year ago.

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