Pistons Draft Preview: Amen Thompson, Guard, City Reapers
The 2023 NBA draft is a colossal one for the Detroit Pistons. With fans waiting patiently for the winner that Troy Weaver promised he was building, there is hope this is the last time the Detroit Pistons have a top five-pick for some time.
Most are locked in on players like Victor Wembanyama and Brandon Miller, but Amen Thompson is a prospect that deserves some consideration. Let’s take at look at Thompson, who projected to go in the top five this year.
Thompson is a player who thrives with the ball in his hands. He also has incredible athleticism to go along with his above-average ball handling. The 20-year-old is averaging over 6 assists a game with the Overtime Elite this season. The Overtime Elite is a professional basketball league in Atlanta, Georgia for 16–20-year-olds. Thompson has been described as a player who is unselfish and a great passer.
Room For Improvement
Amen Thompson’s game has one notable weakness: three-point shooting. Thompson is shooting under 25% from three this year in the Overtime Elite League. He is also shooting just over 60% from the free-throw line, a mark that must improve. A player comparison that came to mind for me is DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan was very raw coming into the NBA but showed great athleticism and ball handling ability. He has transformed his game and become one of the best all-around players in the league. Amen Thompson has that potential.
There are potential question marks associated with Thompson’s fit on the Pistons. Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey are players who need the ball in their hands. So will Amen Thompson. But you cannot deny Thompson’s ball handling and ability to get to the rim. That will undoubtably make Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey’s life much easier.
The debate with Amen Thompson will be whether or not his three-point shooting comes around. The other question mark is the competition Thompson has played against in the Overtime Elite League. It would be interesting to see what kinds of numbers Thompson would have put up in the NCAA.
Amen Thompson is far from a perfect player, but the potential is there for the 20-year-old to be a star in the NBA.
I asked Amen Thompson what he likes to do when he’s not playing ball. His response?: