DETROIT PISTONS SELECT AUSAR THOMPSON WITH THE FIFTH PICK IN THE 2023 NBA DRAFT
The Detroit Pistons announced that the club has selected Ausar Thompson with the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Detroit has also agreed in principle to acquire the draft rights to No. 25 overall pick, Marcus Sasser, as part of a larger trade that is not yet final.
Thompson, 6-7, 215, averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.1 blocks in 29.1 minutes across 20 games for the City Reapers of Overtime Elite in 2022-23. He was named Overtime Elite MVP and later named Finals MVP after averaging 21.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists in the playoffs. In his second year in the league, Thompson led the City Reapers to a 14-1 regular season record and their first OTE Championship while earning Player of the Week honors twice. The combo guard finished second in the league in assists while collecting at least three steals seven times.
A native of Oakland, Calif., Thompson was named the Broward County 5A Co-Player of the Year at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In addition to Overtime Elite, Thompson participated in The Basketball Tournament for Team Overtime in July of 2022. Thompson was selected one pick after his identical twin brother, Amen, who went No. 4 overall to Houston. Thompson’s older brother, Troy Thompson Jr., played collegiate basketball at Prairie View A&M and participated in training camp with the Stockton Kings.
Thompson is the fourth top-five selection for the Pistons since 1995 (Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Darko Milicic) and the third in the last three seasons.
Sasser, 6-2, 195, averaged 16.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 30.8 minutes across 36 games in his senior season at Houston. After leading the Cougars to a 33-4 record and a No. 1 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, Sasser was a consensus 2022-23 All-American First Team selection. Sasser won the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year award in 2022-23. In addition, he was a Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year finalist and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist.
The Dallas, Texas, native was the first Houston consensus First-Team All-American since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984. Sasser finished 15th in Houston history with 1,458 career points and set the school record with 276 career 3-pointers.
Sasser was a 3-star recruit out of Red Oak High School in 2018-19 after earning District MVP honors in his senior season. He hails from a basketball family as his uncles Jeryl (No. 22 overall to Orlando in 2001) and Jason Sasser (No. 41 overall to Sacramento in 1996) were both drafted into the NBA.