Spurs bank on high-flying upside swing in 2023 NBA Mock Draft
If this is how things play out, there will be quite a few disappointed fans wearing silver and black. I get it— there is a clear one-two in this draft in Victor Wembanyama and “consolation prize” Scoot Henderson (though I've gotta ask, does this look like a consolation?). But there have been rumblings that Thompson could’ve been the number one pick in the 2022 NBA Draft had he been eligible.
Amen and his twin brother Ausar are not as well known because they opted to forgo college for the Overtime Elite league. Air Alamo draft guru Roberto Araiza wrote a fantastic profile on the Thompson twins here, so I don’t want to steal too much of his thunder. Quick aside: this is a stacked names draft. Wemby?? Scoot??? AMEN! Come on.
Regardless, Amen fills a position of need for the Spurs. While a lottery team generally shouldn’t draft for need, it doesn’t hurt that he can step into significant minutes immediately. He also projects to add scoring to a team deprived of self-creation. I say projects because while his athleticism is off the charts, his efficiency as a scorer has wavered (to put it nicely) from all three levels.
These faults have shown enough that in the article above, Roberto posits the Spurs should choose Ausar as their lead guard instead of his brother. The numbers are a little scary. However, I am still comfortable taking the other Thompson twin for a couple of reasons.
First, I can remember Anthony Edwards sounding eerily similar to Amen: A prospect with a game built on athleticism that needs coaching to capitalize on his upside on both sides of the court. Who better to maximize that talent than San Antonio’s historic development system? And second, for a player to be in the conversation for the number one pick in a typical year, their floor and staying power in the league carry a solid foundation.