An athletic, versatile guard who possesses great length, Thompson was always expected to be one of the top picks in this year's draft because of all the boxes he checks off and the lack of limitations to his game. Alongside former second overall pick Jalen Green in Houston, the Rockets now have two very athletic scoring guards who can push the pace of play.
Perhaps the best thing about drafting Thompson from Houston's point of view is the fact that he is continuing to grow and get better as an all-around talent. Having a high understanding for the game and being able to make the best decisions in the blink of an eye are traits you cannot teach. Thompson exhibits both of these traits, which is why he is the player this organization wanted. The Rockets had been targeting Thompson for quite some time, and now they finally get their chance to add what the team believes to be a complete game-changer.
Here is everything you need to know about the newest member of the Rockets.
Amen Thompson's Pre-NBA Basketball Career
From the first time he could pick up a basketball, Amen Thompson was destined to play in the NBA. Both he and his identical twin brother Ausar Thompson, who is also projected to be a top pick in this year's draft, began their basketball journeys at a young age. Homeschooled to focus on basketball, the Thompson twins moved to Florida with their family in eighth grade and very quickly jumped onto the national radar as five-star recruits. While receiving offers from some of the best schools in the country, it seemed like the Thompson twins were going to be a package deal. That turned out to be the case when Amen and Ausar joined Overtime Elite on two-year contracts in 2021.
This is where Amen really began to separate himself from his brother, as he stood out as a primary playmaker who could really play anywhere. LeBron James truly revolutionized the game of basketball in the sense of having point guards who could also play out on the wing and be positionless type of players, which is is exactly what Thompson is. No matter who guarded him at Overtime Elite, Amen would use his athleticism and ball-handling skills to either score or make a play for his teammates. Effort and intensity are the two things Thompson brings to his team on defense, making him one of the most complete prospects in this draft class.
Amen Thompson's NBA Draft Fit With Rockets
The best part about Amen Thompson going to the Rockets is the fact that he will not have to try and fit a certain mold the team wants of him. Houston is rebuilding right now and knows that it will take time for this group to reach their full potential, though here will also likely be some veterans brought in to help move this young core along. Alongside other above-average athletes in Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason, Thompson creates the makings of what can be a very fast and very aggressive team in the Western Conference. How he will handle having to share the primary ball-handling duties with Kevin Porter Jr. and Green will be interesting, especially since Thompson is not an elite shooter off the ball.
Looking at this pick from a big picture standpoint, it is clear to see why the Rockets wanted Thompson and are willing to adjust their style of play for him. He fits the mold of a player similar to when Jaylen Brown first entered the league. Brown played for new Rockets head coach Ime Udoka with the Boston Celtics, which is why the sky is the limit for Thompson in Houston. Playing freely and being able to expand on the explosive player he is makes Thompson the perfect fit with the Rockets.