The Detroit Pistons’ Two 2023 NBA Draft Picks Will Help Transform the Team

The Detroit Pistons entered the 2023 NBA Draft recently looking for more offensive and defensive help after finishing last season 17 and 65, posting the League’s worst record.  With its No. 5 pick in the First Round, the Pistons selected Ausar Thompson, a 6-foot-7 player who can play both small forward and shooting guard.  Thompson and his twin brother, Amen, made history on Draft Night after becoming the first brothers ever drafted in the top five of the same NBA draft.  Amen went No. 4 to the Houston Rockets.

“I’m super excited,” said Ausar Thompson, drafted after playing with the City Reapers of Overtime Elite (OTE), a professional basketball league based in Atlanta for 16 to 21-year-old American and international players with aspirations of playing in the NBA.   “I’m super excited to meet my coaches, meet my teammates, and just grow with them.”

Thompson’s numbers with the City Reapers included averaging 17.5 points, almost 7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and  2.3 steals per contest.  From 3-point range, he shot nearly 30 percent.

According to top NBA Draft scouting reports, Ausar Thompson, 20, is an elite above-the-rim player with long arms and a wingspan of 7 feet.  He loves attacking the rim and can finish with either hand.     Thompson is super quick and skilled at handling the ball.  Many who have seen Thompson play say that he will need to improve his outside shot, but believe he will, based on his intense work ethic to get better.

Thompson is a tenacious defender and has the innate will and skill to defend on the perimeter effectively.  Playing much better defense is something Troy Weaver, Pistons GM, wants the entire Pistons squad to adapt to next season and beyond, especially since the team finished last season near the bottom of just about every defensive category charted by the NBA and other pro basketball statisticians.  Weaver believes Thompson will greatly help in the team’s commitment to playing smarter, consistent, and grittier defense.

“He adds to our culture,” said Weaver.  “We got a great person, tremendous worker, great athlete.  We think he has a chance to be an elite defender on the perimeter.”

Thompson has already bought into the importance of defense.

“With my size and my quickness, defense has always been a part of me,” Thompson said.  “Teams that win championships play defense.”

With the Pistons’ 25th draft pick, the team selected another tough defender in Marcus Sasser, the          6-foot-2 guard from the University of Houston, where he was a consensus First-Team All-American.

At Houston, Sasser was known as a great on-the-ball defender, savvy and skilled enough to play both guard positions.  And Sasser has an offensive game that the Pistons also like.  In his senior year at Houston, Sasser averaged almost 17 points, 3.1 assists, and shot from 3-point territory at a 38.3% clip. 

“He fits well in the Motor City because Marcus Sasser is a three-level scorer that is a fighter,” said ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas.  “He’s got an attack mentality.  He can shoot it, good off the dribble, capable passer, and he’s a really good defender, especially on the ball.”

“Sasser is a bucket-getter and was known as a hard-nosed, clutch performer for one of college basketball’s top programs,” said Keith Langlois, web editor of   “He perfectly fits Weaver’s ideal Pistons profile for toughness, grit, and someone who competes hard at the defensive end.”

Thompson and Sasser will join forces with a core of young and hungry players already on the roster, including Cade Cunningham, Jalen Duren, Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, James Wiseman, Isaiah Livers, and Marvin Bagley III.  Veterans on the team, barring any trades, will include Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks.  The team, which is said to have about $30 million in cap space, is expected to add another good veteran or two to the mix for the upcoming season.

The Pistons should be much better than last year when they were at the bottom of the standings looking up all season.  With new head coach Monty Williams running the show, expectations will be high for the Pistons to assemble a competitive team willing to play in his offensive and defensive system.

“I couldn’t be more proud to have Monty joining us at this important time to lead us into the next decade of our future,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “He embodies all of the qualities we want in a leader for our Pistons franchise, and most importantly a teacher and mentor for our players.”










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