2023 NBA Draft prospect Ausar Thompson is a shooting guard/small forward for the City Reapers in the Overtime Elite (OTE) league. The 20-year-old is the twin brother of fellow candidate Amen Thompson and is an elite defender and passer.
Ausar Thompson 2023 NBA Draft Profile
In high school, Thompson played basketball at Pine Crest in Florida, where he won the state championship in his junior season and was awarded Broward County Co-Player of the Year with Amen. Following this, in 2021, the five-star recruit bypassed his senior year and opted to sign with Overtime Elite.
In his first season, he led his team to a championship victory and was named Finals MVP. He posted 20.8 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 4.4 APG, 2.4 SPG, and 3.1 BPG (per 40 minutes) in the regular season.
This year Thompson won his second title and was again named Finals MVP. He also won regular season MVP, putting up 16.3 PPG on 48.1% shooting, 7.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 2.4 SPG, and 1.1 BPG. In the league, he ranked second in averaged assists, seventh in steals, eighth in points, and ninth in blocks.
One of Thompson’s greatest strengths is his defense. Thanks to his combination of lateral quickness, versatility, athleticism, and size, he can be suffocating. The six-foot-seven wing can defend multiple positions and pressure opponents, sometimes picking them up full court. With his elite awareness, he can anticipate moves, read offenses, and cut off passing lanes. Thompson also thrives as a help and interior defender. His excellent timing and active hands allow him to effectively contest or block shots and prevent open looks. On top of that, he excels at grabbing boards and creating transition opportunities. By stripping the ball and generating deflections, he can make the outlet pass or command his way to the net for a flashy finish.
The wing is also a phenomenal passer. His offensive vision helps him expose lapses and find the open man by drawing the defense. He’s unselfish with the ball and thrives in a secondary playmaker role. Thompson also has a fantastic first step, oftentimes exploding to the rim using his handles and speed. He excels at slashing and finishing and is a decent mid-range shooter.
The biggest knock on Thompson is his shooting. He’s struggled to find a consistent jump shot and it’s been a continuous work in progress. After his first season in the OTE, he spent a considerable amount of time fixing his form, but he’s made solid strides with his mechanics. This year his numbers were decent, shooting 66.2% from the free throw line and 29.8% from three. Although he still has a long way to go for NBA defenders to take him seriously as a scoring threat. The wing has also struggled with finishing through contact and finding open driving lanes.
While he’s shown off his excellent passing skills, Thompson is also turnover prone, averaging 3.3 per game this season. At times he’ll take low-quality shots or force a bad pass. He can be a bit reckless when he’s pressured by defenses and will scramble to get rid of the ball. His decision-making will need to improve as his offense continues to develop.
The wing has tremendous potential defensively, but he can be inconsistent. When he’s guarding off the ball, he can lack hustle and is slow to get around screens. Sometimes he gets caught watching the ball and fails to recover from a lapse. He can also be undisciplined and rely too much on his athleticism.
NBA Player Comparisons
Thompson’s skills and style of play are a mix of Jason Richardson and Andrew Wiggins. His athleticism, speed, and creative finishing mostly resemble Richardson. Both are also solid rebounders and playmakers, but the 14-year vet was a better scorer.
As Wiggins did, Thompson needs to develop his shot, but he has potential as a shooter and scoring threat. Defensively both are versatile and can rack up stocks. They also thrive in transition and can create opportunities for their teammates.
NBA Draft Projection
Early-mid first-round pick.