The Detroit Pistons went with the best player available in the past edition of the NBA Draft.
They didn’t consider the fit next to their current roster, which is something teams often do when the player available is just too good to pass.
Thus far, it seems like Ausar Thompson is proving them right for taking that approach, as he’s been an elite contributor to their team.
According to StatMuse, Thompson and Rudy Gobert are the only two players with at least 50 offensive rebounds and 25 blocks this season.
That’s remarkable if you consider the fact that we’re talking about a 6-foot-7 rookie.
Thompson is getting a beating night in and night out, putting his body on the line and snatching rebounds right off the hands of some of the most physical big men in the league.
He’s been an elite help defender, getting chase-down blocks and excelling by forcing his opponents to the baseline and creating live-ball turnovers.
Not many teams would’ve gotten a combo guard after already having Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey in their past couple of drafts.
But Thompson has proven that he can slide to the small forward spot and use his length, strength, and athleticism to guard one through five and fill up the stat sheet on any given night.
Of course, that hasn’t translated into much success for the struggling Pistons, but Monty Williams has a promising team on his hands, and they’re just another piece away from building something special in this league.