After concluding their five-game NBA Summer League run on Sunday in Las Vegas with a 100-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons went 4-1.
We saw some great play from their 2023 draft class, Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser, as well as from a portion of their veteran returnees: James Wiseman, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren
Players will presently spread to chip away at their singular games and scrimmage in open rec center runs, before the Cylinders refocus in late September for instructional course.
This is the thing we learned in Las Vegas.
Thompson is ready. He made two of the most exciting plays of the week: a steal and reverse alley-oop with Sasser helping him, and a one-handed putback off a standing jump on the back of San Antonio Spurs forward Dominick Barlow, who thought he had boxed out the 6-6 rookie.
The two plays evoked wows from the groups at Thomas and Mack Center as well as his own colleagues. Thompson is a unique athlete who can win dunk competitions and appear on highlight reels frequently. He appears to float rather than simply jump.
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Yet, his physicality reaches out past his jumping skill. Thompson is extremely fast, incredibly organized and has a tenacious engine and solid nose for the ball. He sees the floor like a lead monitor and is unselfish. He put together one of the best two-way summer performances ever for a Piston thanks to his high-feel approach. After he was selected fifth overall in June, he got more attention for his upcoming rookie season.
Thompson averaged 13.5 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 2.3 steals while shooting 46.5 percent in four games, which included Sunday's final one. He's a detail sheet stuffer and has been a hazard protectively. His dynamic hands assisted him with counting 16 consolidated blocks and takes. He fights through screens, makes quick closeouts, and knows how to deflect jump shots when they are released.
Thompson is a connector on offense and particularly thrives in transition. From behind the half-court line, he frequently pushed the ball and made precise passes. Both a fastbreak starter and finisher, he likewise was a hurl target and was proficient at getting to the line with 17 complete free toss endeavors. Thompson scored on second and third chances as an active rebounder. Just Wiseman arrived at the midpoint of additional bounce back per game for the Cylinders.