Pistons’ Ausar Thompson reveals offseason area of improvement

Ausar Thompson had a productive first year with the Detroit Pistons, and the fifth pick will likely earn a place on an NBA All-Rookie team at the conclusion of the season, as a result.

Thompson averaged 8.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals on 48.3% shooting from the field in 63 games with the Pistons. He finished 12th in scoring among all first-year players, third in steals and fifth in rebounding in 25.1 minutes per game.

The 21-year-old missed the last 19 games of the season due to a blood clot. He is expected to begin non-contact activities now that the season is completed and gradually ramp up his activity over the summer in preparation for a full return next season.

He explained what led to the diagnosis.

“I was just not feeling like myself fully,” Thompson said this week. “The doctors brought me over and we found it out. Now, I’m on a mental and physical journey to get back.”

The conclusion of the season was an example of the inconsistency Thompson experienced. He had some highs and lows, as is typical with any rookie, but proved himself as a top-five pick, given his ability to affect games in a variety of ways.

He was ranked in the top 10 among all players in rebounds, offensive rebounds and blocks at the start of the season. He even became one of 15 players in history with at least 550 points, 400 rebounds, 120 assists, 65 steals and 55 blocks through the first 63 games of their career.

“I was pleased with my ability to touch the paint, pass the ball, finish at the rim, play defense and just be able to stop the best player (on the opposing team),” Thompson said.

Thompson played several roles throughout the season and started 38 times for coach Monty Williams, including the last 14 games before his injury. He had a productive year with the Pistons and is already looking ahead to the areas of his game he wants to improve this summer.

“I think the main thing is shooting,” Thompson said. “(I’m) going into the offseason very focused on that and being able to be a three-level-scoring threat because I feel like if someone is forced to guard me a little higher, I don’t think it’s going to be easy.”

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire