Trading up for Thompson twins in 2023 draft may fix Raptors offensive woes

Dec 9, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; City Reapers guards Ausar Thompson (0) and Amen Thompson (1) Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; City Reapers guards Ausar Thompson (0) and Amen Thompson (1) Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Raptors are always thinking about the NBA Draft, but fans need to prepare for the possibility of this team getting dispatched in the play-in tournament and ending up with a lottery pick. While this would be immeasurably disappointing, Toronto needs to recognize how much a young scoring talent is needed.

The NBA has seen a few sets of twins have sustained, productive careers (Tom and Dick Van Arsdale, Brook and Robin Lopez, Marcus and Markieff Morris). However, the startup Overtime Elite league may have the next great set of NBA brothers in their midst right now in Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson.

Opinions on the Thompson twins vary wildly. While some see them as a duo that will be picked near the end of the lottery due to concerns about the quality of their opponents, some may see them as the favorites to be the No. 3 pick in the draft after Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson. Regardless, both of them are projected to have long pro careers.

The Raptors need a bucket-getter as badly as any team in the league, and they may have two identical bites at the apple in this draft if they continue to fade away. Even if both of them are slightly outside of their range, Masai Ujiri would do well to use some of his capital to move up and land one of these future stars.

Can the Toronto Raptors draft Amen Thompson or Ausar Thompson?

While both profile as stars, Amen is regarded as a slightly better prospect than Ausar at the moment due to the fact he handles the ball more frequently. Both of them stand 6-7 with 6-10 wingspans and uncommon verticality for players as young as they are, so physical traits are not going to be issues with either of these prospects.

Amen is averaging 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.9 steals per game in Overtime play this season. Of the two, Amen is faster, a better passer, and a more tenacious defender. With the vocal leadership that teams like to see from their young point guards on both ends, Thompson will have no issues acclimating to the Raptors.

Ausar, on the other hand, is averaging 18.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.7 steals per game. Ausar is regarded as the better shooter and isolation scorer of the brothers, which may actually make him a more seamless fit on this current Raptors roster.

Both of these players are so talented they could take the Scottie Barnes route and bypass earning their stripes on the bench.

If the Raptors still believe that Nick Nurse is an elite developer of talent, they should have no issue with using a premium pick on one of them and letting them cut their teeth against grown men in the pros. The Raptors may not be in the Wembanyama hunt, but they have two golden opportunities to hit a home run with their pick.

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