Trail Blazers 2023 NBA Draft Big Board 3.0: Final pre-lottery rankings

Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitan 92, Credit: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images
Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitan 92, Credit: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images /
4 of 10
Ausar Thompson should be on the Portland Trail Blazers 2023 NBA Draft Big Board.
Ausar Thompson, City Reapers – Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

7. Ausar Thompson

Big Board 2.0 rank – No. 6

His brother Amen may be the more heralded prospect, but Ausar Thompson is a better fit for Portland. Amen is a lead guard on offense, while Ausar projects as more of a scoring wing but with similar elite defensive potential.

The Ringer‘s Kevon O’Connor sees Shaun Livingston with elite athleticism, but an argument could be made for a Lonzo Ball comparison with Ausar’s defense and potential to be a passable shooter.

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’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 is his defense. It hasn’t been much of a challenge for him to guard 1 through 4 to this point in his career, albeit against low-level competition.

He’s not only fast, he’s quick, long, battles through screens, and is a terrific off-ball defender. Ausar looks like a future elite wing defender, which would pair nice with Sharpe and Jerami Grant, theoretically.

But all the same worries – age, competition, bust potential – apply to Ausar just as they do to Amen.