Portland Trail Blazers’ 2023 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0

Victor Wembanyama, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)
Victor Wembanyama, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images) /
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Ausar Thompson, City Reapers
Ausar Thompson, City Reapers – Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Ausar Thompson, Overtime Elite

His brother Amen may be the more heralded prospect, at least for now, but Ausar Thompson is a better fit for Portland.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer sees Shaun Livingston with elite athleticism, but Ausar could easily be Lonzo Ball with elite athleticism because of his potential as an All-NBA defender.

Similar to his brother, Ausar is nearly impossible to stay in front of when he gets moving, and it doesn’t take much for him to go from standing still to a controlled blaze.

He keeps the ball moving offensively. He’s shown more improvement as a shooter than Amen, but he still has a long way to go.

The most attractive part of Ausar’s game for the Blazers, though, is his defense. It hasn’t been much of a challenge for him to guard 1 through 4 to this point in his career. He’s not only fast, he’s quick, long, battles through screens, and is a terrific off-ball defender who can fly in from off camera to swat shots at the rim.

Amen might be the more talented offensive prospect, but Ausar looks like a future elite wing defender, which would pair nice with Shaedon Sharpe and Jerami Grant.