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The Detroit Pistons made two more first-round picks during the 2023 NBA Draft to give their new coach Monty Williams fresh blood as he is trying to lift the team with the worst win-loss record during last season to a playoff contender. Detroit made 2 more Round 1 picks and added depth to their roster, although both picks surprised many.
We look at the Detroit Pistons 2023 draft picks below, including a grade for the night.
No. 5 Ausar Thompson
- Position: Small forward/Shooting guard
- Age: 20
- Height: 6-7 (1.97 m)
- Weight: 205 (93 kg)
- College/Club: City Reapers (Overtime Elite)
The Pistons had lots of options with the 5th pick but they surprised many by selecting the second Thompson twin Ausar Thompson. Ausar seems to be a more rounded overall player than his brother, he won the Finals MVP in back-to-back years at the Overtime Elite League. Still, the Pistons could have got him by trading back and the fact that Thompson is not a great shooter is his main drawback.
Considering that the Pistons already have Cunnigham and Ivey on their roster, both of them not very good shooters from a distance, the pressure on Ausar to develop his jump shot quickly will be significant.
All that said, Ausar is an excellent defender, he averaged 2.9 steals per game last season, and has an electric first step, length and the ability to attack the rim in transition that only a handful of players in the league possess. We certainly believe he will develop in Detroit, but a lot will depend on how good he can become at knocking down open shots from beyond the arc.
No. 25 Marcus Sasser (Houston)
- Position: Shooting guard
- Age: 21
- Height: 6-1 (1.88 m)
- Weight: 196 (88 kg)
- College: Houston
The Pistons also got the 25th pick via a three-team trade that eventually saw the Grizzlies trading this pick to Detroit. With it, Detroit selected Marcus Sasser. He’s a hard-working shooting guard that can knock down open shots at a high percentage. However, Sasser lacks size and muscle. This is why he was never projected to be a top-20 pick. Sasser might struggle defensively in the modern NBA considering how small he is. Still, he has shown in Houston he is a very good off-ball defender and this could be a useful skill that could keep him on the floor longer in his first year.
However, he has the character and the style of play Detroit and Monty Williams cherish. Also, with Ivey and Cunningham on the court, Sasser could prove to be a useful weapon with his shooting.
Detroit Pistons Draft Grade: B
The Pistons had the opportunity to select better with the 5th pick. Or they could have traded back for other assets as the player they got Ausar Thompson would have still been available in all likeliness at the 8th or 9th pick.
Still, both Ausar and Marcus fit the characters Detroit want in their ranks. Both youngsters are hardballers that give it their all defensively. If they can develop solid jump shots Detroit could get 2 very good role players in them.
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