Best fit and advantage as NBA guards

Much has been said about the big three of the NBA Draft 2023 class: Victor Wembanyama is the clear No. 1 pick, followed closely by G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson and Alabama winger Brandon Miller. Overtime Elite twins Amen and Ausar Thompson lurk quietly in the shadows of these three top prospects. The 6-foot-7 duo seized a new opportunity and chose their own path to the NBA, becoming some of the first players to sign with OTE in 2021 for its inaugural season. Since then, Atlanta’s OTE Arena has become a go-to stop for NBA scouts and executives as the twins continue to work on their game.

Amen excels as a primary ball handler, playing point guard his entire career, while Ausar is more of a combo guard who played the ball alongside his twin brother. During high school basketball when the duo played for Pine Crest High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the two players built up one of the most electric backcourts in high school basketball and took it to TAKES AWAY. That year, the duo led Pine Crest to a state championship — Amen finished with 43 points and 13 rebounds in the double-overtime win — and both were named County Co-Player of the Year. Broward.

“It was probably one of the best games I’ve ever seen Amen play and I’ve seen him play a lot games,” Ausar told Yahoo Sports. “I foul and he just got this look in his eye like he was going to take over the game and he did just that. It was crazy.”

Last season at OTE, Amen and Ausar teamed up one last time. Ausar was instrumental in the OTE couple’s victory, hitting the winner of Game 3 and walking away with MVP honors.

“I’m glad we had the opportunity to play together one last time before joining the league,” Amen said. “He makes me a better player, whether it’s just in training or even in games with the cuts he makes, it makes me a better passer.”

Elite overtime guards Ausar Thompson (0) and Amen Thompson (1) are among the second group of players in this year's NBA draft after the top three.  (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

Elite overtime guards Ausar Thompson (0) and Amen Thompson (1) are among the second group of players in this year’s NBA draft after the top three. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

Amen and Ausar are thrown to the top of the lottery and are considered second tier under Wembanyama, Henderson and Miller. The pair recently worked for the Portland Trail Blazers, who have the No. 3 pick, and Ausar featured an improved jump shot. Throughout the pre-draft process, Amen was considered the best prospect due to his playing ability and how he projects himself as the leading ball handler in the NBA, but don’t be surprised if it is the name of Ausar which is called first on June 22.

“Ausar is a player you can connect alongside other point guards on the wing and he can always make an impact,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “What he brings defensively plus his advantage as a complementary piece on the perimeter is valuable.”

If Detroit retains its pick at No. 5 and Villanova guard Cam Whitmore is out of the picture, Ausar would be a better fit alongside Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. Ausar would also be a good fit for the Washington Wizards (in the backcourt with Bradley Beal) at No. 8 and would be a boon to the Utah Jazz and their rebuilding process at No. 9.

For Amen, he could go all the way to No. 3 in the Trail Blazers and learn from a veteran player like Damian Lillard or the Rockets could take him to No. 4 and possibly place him alongside James Harden, who would be interested in returning. in Houston.

The pair are unlikely to fall outside the top 10, which would make them the highest-drafted pair of twins or brothers in NBA draft history.

With all the attention on Wembanyama and what he projects at the next level, the Thompson twins are quietly waiting to find out where they will land and are ready to get to work and help improve the team, whatever the situation. in which they are.

“Me, honestly, I don’t care where I’m drafted, whether it’s [pick] one, 10, 60, I have to go out the same way and compete every day and do the same thing that I always do,” Ausar said.

Amen added, “Just like what he said. Draft night is not the end goal. I’m just ready to go out and compete and show everyone what I can do.”

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