NBA: Do the Pistons Have a Shot at Rookie of the Year?

Detroit Pistons Sport News


  • The Pistons have a pair of first-round draft picks in Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser.
  • Detroit hasn’t had a player win Rookie of the Year since Grant Hill split the award with Jason Kidd after the 1994-95 season.
  • Training camp starts October 3 for Detroit with the first preseason game October 8 at home against the Phoenix Suns.

The words commentators and pundits are using to describe the 2023 Detroit Pistons are ‘young’ and ‘athletic.’

Do we hear award winner?

The Pistons open training camp next week with one of the youngest teams in the NBA. The training camp roster includes four rookies, seven players with one year of NBA experience and three players with two.

Michigan sports betting sites have plenty of markets on the Pistons performance, including whether first-round draft picks Marcus Sasser or Ausar Thompson will take home the coveted Rookie of the Year Award.

What Do the Sportsbooks Say?

The 6-foot-7 Thompson, who was the fifth overall pick, is +3000 at DraftKings to win Rookie of the Year, while the 6-foot-1 Sasser is +7500. DraftKings also lists Pistons young star Cade Cunningham as one of the favorites to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. Cunningham missed most of last season after shin surgery.

Freakishly tall Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama is the big favorite to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, but remember Wembanyama struggled during the NBA Summer League in two games.

His Name is Excellence

Thompson is a unique prospect who played two seasons with Overtime Elite out of high school. Overtime Elite is a new development program for players out of high school who want more seasoning before going to the NBA.

The league is based at a training center in Atlanta and had six teams last year. Last year Thompson, whose middle name is XLNC (pronounced Excellence), was the League finals MVP, scoring 16 points a game and six rebounds during the season. Scouts love his athleticism and potential, but think he needs to develop more as a spot-up shooter to thrive in the NBA.

He will certainly get minutes at the wing slots for the Pistons this season.

Dropping The Word on Sasser

The Pistons made a trade with the Celtics to get Sasser late in the first round with the 25th pick. He has a totally different game and background than Thompson.

Sasser is a guard who played four years of traditional college basketball at Houston. He helped turn the Cougars into one of the premier programs in the country, leading them to the Final Four in 2021. He was an All-American and scored 21.8 points as a senior.

Scouts frown on his size. He’s only 6-foot-1, but the Pistons had some success with short-ish point guards in the past. Pistons legend Isiah Thomas was also 6-foot-1.

Sasser may be more NBA ready than Thompson, but may not get as much playing time with the number of talented guards already with the Pistons.

Detroit fans will get their first look at the Pistons and new coach Monty Williams in the pre-season opener at home against the Suns. Detroit is on the road for their remaining three pre-season contents.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.