Movie Don’t Lie: Cam Whitmore, Amen Thompson, Ausar Thompson

Movie Don't Lie: Cam Whitmore, Amen Thompson, Ausar Thompson

With a new NBA season about to dawn, it is a great time to take one final deep breath of the summer offseason and think about the not-so-immediate future. More specifically, I’m talking about the 2023 NBA Draft prospects. We don’t know how the Detroit Pistons season will unfold. It could be the play-in tournament, or it could be vying for one of the following names. It makes sense, then, to at least be familiar with what the 2023 NBA Draft has to offer.

This will be the 2nd of a multi-part series where I will break down three possible prospects for the 2023 NBA Draft. For my series, I will not be looking at any guys who played college last season, though our own Steve Pelletier may have those breakdowns for you in the future. I will instead focus on a few players taking the nontraditional route to the NBA and the crop of HS seniors.

To continue this series, I will be looking at twin brothers Amen and Ausar Thompson who are set to play for the Overtime Elite program and Villanova committed Cam Whitmore.

For these breakdowns, I will give just a paragraph or two of my overall thoughts on the prospect accompanied by my video breakdown on each. I do want to make a note that with ALL of the prospects in this series, I had varying levels of access to stats, information, and film. I try to highlight and note where I got stats from, if I had access to one game, just HS film, or maybe access to other leagues they played.

I also want to emphasize that these breakdowns are solely my evaluation of these prospects as players but not specifically for the Detroit Pistons. We have no idea how some of the Pistons’ young core will develop or where they will land in next year’s Draft. I simply wanted to give fans and readers of DBB a little insight into who these prospects are right now with the understanding that they have almost a full year of growth ahead of them.

Cameron Whitmore

6-foot-7 – Villanova – 18 Years Old (Turns 19 on July 8, 2023)

STATS (via inSTAT) – 6 Games (17 MPG) 18.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.0 TOPG, 1 SPG, 0.5 BPG

  • 63% FGA, 46% (10/22) 3P, 71% FT
  • FIBA USA U18

Offensively, Whitmore is a BIG-TIME athlete who shot the ball extremely well on catch-and-shoot 3s in his six games with the FIBA ​​USA U18 team. I did feel like the shot lacked some fluidity, and I did not see much in terms of movement shooting or off the bounce including in the midrange. Where Whitmore thrives is in transition. He will flash that high-level athleticism finishing plays AND even an ability to handle/create in the open floor. I am very interested to see how he is utilized and how his half court offensive game develops during his time with Villanova.

Defensively, he is a player whose athleticism offers a lot of offensive versatility. On the ball, he is a player who will be able to defend bigger guards and wings on the perimeter. He also spent time playing as a “big” with his high school team, which put him in position to defend ball-screen possessions in “switch,” “drop,” and “hedging” situations. Off the ball, he is going to be disruptive as the athleticism comes into play again with some “highlight reel” blocked shots, and he really likes playing in passing lanes. One final thing I would like to make note of is his defensive rebounding where I think he can combine that athleticism with a keen awareness of where the ball is coming off the rim to provide great value on the boards.

Check out the Video Breakdown for my Full 2023 Preseason NBA Draft Player Profile

Amen Thompson

6-foot-6 Overtime Elite – 19 Years Old (Turns 20 on Jan. 30, 2023)

NO STATS – Film and Breakdown via 1 Game from TBT

Offensively, the first thing to make note is that Amen is definitely more of a primary offensive initiator than Ausar. In this game, I felt like he didn’t really get a chance to flash this much in the first half, but in the 2nd half he got the ball in his hands, and you could really see him find a rhythm attacking and creating for teammates. The absolutely ELITE athleticism with Amen and Ausar is no secret, and Amen definitely flashed his athleticism in this single game sample. Shooting is a major question for both players, but I think even more so for Amen. He has more work to do on the foundation of his shooting form, which I outline in the video breakdown.

Defensively, I was immediately impressed by the on-ball mentality and his willingness to get up and guard. I do have some questions about both of their respective abilities to stay in front of smaller, quicker guards. While they can be extremely disruptive, I do think they will have to develop some discretion in their chance taking. In comparison, This small sample size did show Amen doing a little more of the nuanced things off the ball than Ausar in terms of switches and rotations.

Check out the Video Breakdown for my Full 2023 Preseason NBA Draft Player Profile on Amen AND Ausar Thompson

Ausar Thompson

6-foot-6 Overtime Elite – 19 Years Old (Turns 20 on Jan. 30, 2023)

NO STATS – Film and Breakdown via 1 Game from TBT

Offensively, Ausar is more of an off-ball player and not the same primary on-ball player as Amen. As I previously mentioned, shooting is definitely a concern for both players, BUT I would definitely be more of a believer in Ausar’s jump shot right now. He still needs to tighten his handle and add a little more “wiggle” to his scoring package, but I LOVE his potential playing off the ball as a cutter, rebounder, etc. with his elite athleticism. Even though Amen is known more for his creation abilities, I think Ausar had some nice passing flashes as the game progressed.

Defensively, I believe that Ausar is even better on the ball and can be more disruptive than Amen. Again, those chances can sometimes lead to opportunities for the offense but he can flat out guard on the ball. I do not want to repeat myself too much but you see a lot of the same things off the ball in terms of overplaying passing lanes and just having to show a little more discretion with his risk taking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.