The Detroit Pistons were devastated when the worst record in the league led to only the 5th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
After spending the whole season dreaming of Victor Wembanyama, anyone else was going to be a disappointment, but fans hoped that the team would at least stay in the top three.
That didn’t happen, but the Pistons may be better off for it, as rookie Ausar Thompson already looks the part of a foundational piece of the franchise.
He’s shown high IQ and awareness on both ends, the ability to defend 1-4 and better-than-advertised playmaking skills on the wing.
But what really stands out is his athleticism, as even among NBA players he looks to be on a different level than everyone else on the floor.
Ausar Thompson has only played one preseason game, but he could already be one of the most athletic players the Detroit Pistons have ever had.
I’ve been watching for a long time and three players stand out.
You may not have known it by the end of his career, when ankle injuries had taken their toll, but at one time Grant Hill was an athletic marvel on the wing. The Hall-of-Famer became known more as a cerebral halfcourt player but earlier in his career he was unreal.
Few players his size could go end-to-end as fast as Hill, he could jump over just about anyone for highlight reel dunks. He had power, speed and quickness as you can see in these highlights that start with him dunking on Alonzo Mourning’s head:
He could go up and catch an alley-oop with one hand, stuff players at the rim and electrify a crowd with his athleticism.
But there is a player who immediately comes to mind as even more athletic than Hill.