The 2023 NBA Draft is only ten days away. There is still uncertainty about who the Washington Wizards are going to select with the no. 8 pick. Mock drafts keep rolling in and give us an idea about the options the Wizards are going to have with their pick.
In the latest edition of his 2023 Mock Draft that he updated on Friday, June 9, Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer has the Washington Wizards select Ausar Thompson.
O’Connor’s top seven of the mock draft are Victor Wembanyama, Brandon Miller, Scoot Henderson, Cam Whitmore, Jarace Walker, Amen Thompson, and Taylor Hendricks in that order.
This means that the Wizards will have a number of solid choices with their pick, including Ausar Thompson, Anthony Black, and Cason Wallace, all names that the Wizards are rumored to be interested in.
The Wizards should be thrilled if the top of the draft shakes out this way. Having both Thompson and Black fall to them, the Wizards will have a tough choice to make. The choice O’Connor makes in his mock draft seems like the right one.
Ausar Thompson is an impressive athlete with a high upside. His shooting needs some work but his athleticism, playmaking, and defense make him a very intriguing prospect with superstar potential. He is hard to evaluate due to his unorthodox career path; having spent the last two years at Overtime Elite, the brand-new basketball league out of Atlanta. However, his high-end talent and dynamism jump off the screen regardless of the basketball situation he is in.
If Washington does end up in a situation where they have Thompson, Black, Wallace, as well as Gradey Dick and Bilal Coulibaly available to them, going with the highest upside is the most logical path. And out of these players, the highest upside probably belongs to Ausar Thompson.
The path to superstardom is clearer for Thompson, he already has the building blocks of an elite athlete, he just needs to tighten his handles and improve his shooting. This is obviously easier said than done, but with the no.8 pick, there is no such thing as a sure-fire future star.
Every pick has its risks. It’s time the Wizards swung for the fences with their lottery pick.