One of the Pistons' #5 picks has to go, which one should it be?

2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Holland and Thompson's similar skillsets could spell trouble

Although Ivey is arguably as spectacular an athlete as either Thompson or Holland, his game is much different when compared to the other two. He's expected to take some of the load off of Cade Cunningham in the backcourt. On the other hand, the similarities between Thompson and Holland really are uncanny.

Thompson and Holland each had a case to be regarded as the most impressive athlete in their respective draft classes. They're both wings that are about 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds. Really. Go look it up yourself. These two were made with the same cookie cutter. It's like Ausar has a new twin.

It truly is exciting to imagine these two wings running the floor with Cade. Not only would they be beasts in transition, they'd be capable of becoming a truly elite duo defensively. In a way, they remind me of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, only for their complementary defensive abilities rather than what they do on offense. There's the rub. The duo of Thompson and Holland would be a major liability offensively until at least one of them became a reliable shooter.

Jaylen Brown was a poor shooter coming out of college, and he figured it out, so there is no reason one or both of these two can't as well.

Who stays and who goes?

It's obviously a crapshoot at this point. Most league observers were surprised by Trajan Langdon's selection of Ron Holland and it most certainly seems to suggest that he's thinking a few steps ahead. Roster changes are inevitable and assets are in short supply. These are the players that we're going to war with. Whoever coaches this team will have not just a tall order but an incredible opportunity as the potential turnaround far surpasses anything else one will presently find in the NBA.

As the team nears decision time with Ivey, it's a good bet he'll get shopped around and shipped out. I don't see Langdon handing him the kind of contract he's going to want, and one couldn't blame Ivey for welcoming a fresh start. When it gets down to it, he's not a perfect backcourt fit with Cade, either.

With that said, my expectation is that both Thompson and Holland will become focal points and Pistons building blocks alongside Cunningham, as they have the ability to make the team truly elite defensively in a league where wings are thriving. Ivey, on the other hand, will make his bones somewhere his talent is a better fit.

There's no denying that each of these three Pistons are on the path to becoming respected NBA veterans with some real longevity to their careers. But only two of them are going to do it in Detroit: Ausar Thompson and Ron Holland.