The Detroit Pistons did what they said they were going to do and selected Ausar Thompson with the 5th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Troy Weaver said at a recent Q&A that the Pistons would not play it safe and would go for the “big fly” in the draft.
Clumsy baseball metaphors aside, it’s what they did and it’s the correct approach, as the Pistons hope to pivot towards being good soon and may not get another top-5 pick for awhile, so why not got for a high-ceiling player?
But Thompson isn’t just a high-ceiling flyer, he’s also a great fit.
Detroit Pistons draft: Ausar Thompson
We started hearing rumblings about this pick in the last couple of days, and it makes a lot of sense. Ausar Thompson is an elite athlete who can defend, run the floor and is better off the ball than his twin brother Amen.
He’s a natural wing, which is the Pistons’ biggest position of need, so Ausar can slot right into the starting five (or come off the bench) and give Detroit defense on the perimeter. With Thompson, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren, the Pistons are going to have a very athletic team, a far cry from where they were a few years ago when Weaver took over.
He’s been compared to Andre Iguodala, another athletic, two-way wing who had a questionable jumper, but Thompson is even bouncier. It doesn’t take a scout to see why the Thompsons have people excited:
But what I really won me over with Ausar is his commitment to be great on the defensive end and he has a chance to be the best defender from this class. He has the quickness to move laterally and stay in front guards and the size and leaping ability to block shots down low.
He will be able to take on the tough defensive assignment and he and Ivey are going to be lethal in the open court off steals and blocks. The Detroit Pistons are going to be an exciting team with another high-ceiling prospect on board, but he also happens to fit what they need, a bonus when choosing in the top-5.