Ausar Thompson NBA Draft Analysis
Jun 12, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:01 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz own three first-round selections in the 2023 NBA draft, and one of the players they’ll consider in June is Overtime Elite guard Ausar Thompson.
With a top 10 pick, the 16th pick, and the 28th pick in the first round, the Jazz will work out an enormous swath of players projected to be selected throughout the draft.
Let’s look at how lottery pick Ausar Thompson performed during his time with the City Reapers, and how he’d fit with the Jazz.
Ausar Thompson Strengths
Averages: 16.3 ppg | 7.1 RPG | 6.1 APG | 48 FG% | 29 3Pt % | 66 FT%
Standing nearly 6-foot-7 with a seven-foot wingspan, Thompson has elite size for a guard to go with his upper-echelon athleticism.
Though he may not have the same elite leaping ability as his brother Amen, Ausar easily navigates the floor with twitchy feet, crafty footwork, and a good first step.
Ausar Thompson has been named MVP of the Overtime Elite regular season, an OTE representative told ESPN. Thompson, the projected No. 5 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, is averaging 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game this season. pic.twitter.com/UIsbZH1l5O
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) February 20, 2023
Additionally, Thompson has a tight handle which allows him to attack in transition, and get to the rim in the half-court.
Though he largely played off the ball, deferring to his brother with the City Reapers, Ausar has the poise and vision to be a lead guard in the NBA which may unlock more of his playmaking than he was able to show in the Overtime Elite.
The Oakland native is a talented passer when he attacks off the dribble finding teammates with dump-off passes and kick-outs, and also showed potential as a pick-and-roll initiator.
Defensively, Thompson’s athletic tools are a major weapon with terrific lateral quickness and active hands, recording a lot of deflections both on ball and as a help defender.
Ausar Thompson Weaknesses
Like his brother, Thompson’s key weakness is his poor shooting which has plagued him throughout his young career.
Ausar showed some promise as a three-point shooter during the final stretch of the City Reapers season, but his below-average free throw shooting and poor halfcourt numbers are a cause for concern.
Ausar Thompson went from being a non-shooter upon arriving at OTE to hitting ten 3s in three Finals games and shooting 44% for 3 down the stretch. Here's a look at how his mechanics (and release speed) have evolved over the past 16 months. pic.twitter.com/RU19oR8OMP
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) March 9, 2023
Most of Thompson’s scoring came in transition where he’s more than capable, but those opportunities won’t come as frequently at the next level. Even on looks inside the three-point line, Thompson’s touch is questionable at best.
Considering his high-level athleticism and wide-open style of play, too often Ausar opted for difficult layups rather than finishing above the rim against smaller opponents.
Though the Overtime Elite more resembles the NBA style of play than college, the inconsistent competition, and the tendency for games to devolve into iso-heavy track meets make results difficult to trust.
The games often have more of an All-Star exhibition feel than a true competition where the outcomes matter.
Ausar Thompson Overall
Considering his elite athleticism, tight handle, vision, and defensive upside, Thompson remains a high-level prospect despite his serious shooting concerns.
At his size, with potential as a lead ballhandler capable of defending multiple positions, Ausar has All-Star upside, and a relatively high floor as a two-way player who can turn his defense into easy offense, and generate baskets at the rim even if he never develops as a leading scorer.
Though the Overtime Elite offered a questionable playing environment, both Ausar and his brother showed a consistent focus that should translate to the NBA as competitors.
The NBA Draft is fast approaching, and we're breaking down the top prospects on the board.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) May 11, 2023
Where Will Ausar Thompson Get Drafted?
Due to his athleticism, size, and already impressive feel, Thompson is a guaranteed lottery pick that could get drafted as high as five by the Detroit Pistons, with a slim chance of falling to the Utah Jazz at pick nine.
Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.
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