Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser are already ahead of the curve in their development.
Why It Matters For the Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are on a mission of restoring their franchise with promising young talent. General manager Troy Weaver openly spoke on his excitement to add to that core in the 2023 NBA Draft. So far, the newly acquired rookies Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser are making a memorable first impression already.
Pistons fans have been treated to watching the early growth of Thompson and Sasser. After playing like standouts in the NBA Summer League, the rookies have continued to shine through training camp and preseason.
Fans were treated to watch the team's continuity at the team's open practice this past Sunday. While each Piston had their own standout moment, the rookies were the highlights during the team's drills and bonding with the fans. Head coach Monty Williams praised the growth of the rookies during the presser after the open practice.
I do think Ausar and Sass (Marcus Sasser) have the capacity to take on a lot. That's one thing I've seen from both of them. They do not struggle with failure. They stand right there, they look you in the eye like ‘I got you coach' and they get right back at it. I've seen young guys just crumble in that, these two won't crumble.”Monty Williams on the growing pains so far from Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser
Entering their first year in the NBA, Thompson and Sasser are making legitimate cases for playing time early. The Pistons have a crowded roster with limited playing time for everybody, but the rookies are showing they're ready for an early impact already.
Thompson has already drawn elite defensive assignments guarding Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, and Shai-Gilgeous Alexander during the preseason. Thompson has received major praise from his teammates and has already been used in the starting rotation. Sasser was a major contributor to Detroit's comeback victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder last week after scoring 17 points and dropping 8 assists.
Both rookies took a minute to speak to the media after the team's open practice as well. Thompson and Sasser each spoke about what they've learned so far through training camp and preseason.
What's Next for the Detroit Pistons?
The Pistons will continue practice this week as they prepare for their next preseason game this Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Detroit has two preseason games left before the regular season opener against the Miami Heat. Their final preseason matchup is on the road against the Dallas Mavericks this Friday.