The 2023 NBA Draft took place on Thursday night. Sixty of the world's most talented young basketball prospects — headlined by French sensation Victor Wembanyama — heard their names called. The NBA Draft is a time of great excitement for the players, the fans, and front offices alike. And few fanbases had more to be excited about during the 2023 NBA Draft than the Detroit Pistons.
The Detroit Pistons had the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and with that pick, they selected guard Ausar Thompson, a guard who starred for the Overtime Elite league's City Reapers during the 2022-23 campaign. Thompson projects to instantly be in the running for the best player on the Pistons' roster.
Understandably, Pistons fans are most excited about the Thompson pick, as he has star potential. But Thompson wasn't the only player the Pistons selected in the 2023 NBA Draft. They also drafted Houston guard Marcus Sasser with the 25th overall pick, a two-way guard who might just go down as one of the biggest steals of the 2023 NBA Draft.
It's evident that the Pistons' 2023 NBA Draft was a success. After all, they added a potential franchise cornerstone in Thompson, along with a potentially valuable role player in Sasser. With all of that said, let's take a closer look at the Pistons' 2023 NBA Draft class and get to know the two prospects:
Meet the Pistons' 2023 NBA Draft class
Ausar Thompson, 20, did a little bit of everything for the City Reapers in the 2022-23 campaign, as he averaged 16.3 points, 6.1 assists, and 7.1 rebounds per game.
But Ausar Thompson's defining skill at this juncture is his playmaking ability. Thompson is arguably the best passer in the 2023 NBA Draft class. He dished out 6.1 assists per game this season, the second-highest average in the entire Overtime Elite league. Thompson showed great passing instincts with the City Reapers and has the playmaking chops to be an effective primary playmaker at the NBA level.
On the other side of the ball, Thompson's knack for coming up with steals stands out. He averaged a whopping 2.4 steals per game during the regular season and accumulated four-plus steals in a game on three separate occasions.
Ausar Thompson isn't without holes in his game, though. Namely, he's a sub-par three-point shooter. Thompson converted just 29.8% of his three-point attempts with the City Reapers this season, a below-average three-point percentage.
Marcus Sasser, a 6'1″ guard who played four years at the University of Houston, can flat-out score. He averaged 16.8 points per game for the Cougars during his senior season on 43.8% shooting from the field, and his defining offensive skill is his ability to shoot the ball from behind the three-point arc.
Sasser not only attempted plenty of threes per game, but he also made his threes at a high clip, too. He converted 38.4% of his three-point shots on 6.9 attempts per contest, an extremely impressive blend of usage and efficiency. And Sasser is comfortable taking threes both off the catch and off the dribble.
Whether or not both of the players drafted by the Pistons will remain with the franchise for the long haul is unclear. But what's evident is that Pistons fans should be very happy with Detroit's 2023 NBA Draft class. Thompson and Sasser both project to be major pieces of the team's rotation next season and for many years to come.