Pistons’ Ausar Thompson Opens Up On Scary Medical Diagnosis

Ausar Thompson, Pistons, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The 2023-24 NBA season was a disaster for the Detroit Pistons. They made some ugly franchise history, recording the fewest wins in a campaign, and setting the record for longest losing streak with a 28-game skid.

There weren’t many positives to take away from the season, but one of them was certainly the performance of rookie Ausar Thompson. Thompson quickly established himself as the team’s top perimeter defender, routinely getting assigned the opponent’s leading scorer.

Given his combination of size, length and athleticism, Thompson came into the NBA with the tools to be a multi-positional defender. He made the most of them, as he found success despite the normal rookie growing paints.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Ausar Thompson & Detroit Pistons Updates

Unfortunately for Thompson and the Pistons, his season was cut short. He was dealing with a scary health issue, which the team was vague about at first. But, in March, they confirmed that Thompson was dealing with a blood clot, which sidelined him for the final 19 games of the season.

Earlier this week, Thompson was one of the players who took the podium to speak to reporters. His health issue was one of the topics that came up, as Thompson admitted he wasn’t feeling like himself, which was the first sign of something potentially being wrong.

“They said nothing about how it’ll impact me going forward,” Thompson disclosed. “I’m just trying to focus on now. I want to get back with the guys as soon as possible.”

Blood clots are no joke, as it was a good thing that it seemed to be caught relatively early on. It was certainly an unfortunate end to Thompson’s rookie season, but in a lost year, prioritizing his long-term health was most important.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Ausar Thompson & Detroit Pistons Updates

Already capable of making an impact with his defensive presence, Thompson was asked about areas he could improve in heading into Year 2. He is looking to improve offensively, specifically with his shooting.

“I was pleased with my ability to touch the paint, pass the ball, finish at the rim, defend,” Thompson said, per James Edwards of the Athletic. “Things I can improve on? Shooting. Going in very focused on that. If someone is forced to guard me higher, it won’t be easy.” (H/T ClutchPoints)

Thompson averaged 8.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a rookie. If he can improve his shooting percentages, he will become a much more dangerous player for the Pistons and raise the ceiling of the team.

As a rookie, his inability to make an impact on the perimeter made the team much easier to defend. He will be looking to improve upon his 18.6 percent from 3-point range and 59.7 percent from the foul line as opponents would routinely ignore him outside of the paint.

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