It’s been 12 years since a pair of twins were both lottery picks, but that drought is likely to change in 2023.
Amen and Ausar Thompson have quietly been piecing together a compelling argument to be some of the best players in this year’s NBA Draft class after spending the season in the Overtime Elite league rather than playing in college or overseas.
The level of competition they played in the Overtime Elite league may be questionable, but Draft Digest publisher Derek Parker thinks there is a potential fit for both Amen and Ausar Thompson with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The chances that Portland can hold on long enough to have their pick at one or either of the Thompson twins is pretty good. The question is: will they?
Both at 6-foot-7 with similar profiles but fairly different play styles, both of the Thompson’s are extremely unique prospects. And additionally, massive gambles.
Amen, the elevated passing and playmaking version of his brother, might be out of range at No. 5 or beyond, but if the Trail Blazers have a chance to pair him with Sharpe, it may be too much to pass up.
Ausar, a more defensive-minded, three-and-D style-wing, is likely going to be in their range, and he’s a great add all the same.
The words “massive gambles” strike me the most when it comes to the Thompson twins, and the Blazers aren’t in a position to be taking that if they want to win next year. Portland needs to take more calculated risks than taking a player who hasn’t played in college before.
Ironically, that’s what happened last year when the team took Shaedon Sharpe with the No. 7 pick, but after finishing in the lottery for the second consecutive season, the urgency to win in Portland is at an all-time high.
And while the Thompson twins could be some of the best players in the class, Portland doesn’t appear to be in the right niche market for either of them.