NBA Draft: Thompson twins become first brothers picked in Top 5

Amen Thompson (L), his brother Ausar Thompson and French basketball phenom Victor Wembanyama (C) were among the Top 5 players picked in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday in Brooklyn, N.Y. Photo by Justin Lane/EPA-EFE
Amen Thompson (L), his brother Ausar Thompson and French basketball phenom Victor Wembanyama (C) were among the Top 5 players picked in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday in Brooklyn, N.Y. Photo by Justin Lane/EPA-EFE

June 23 (UPI) -- Victor Wembanyama went No. 1 overall, as expected, while the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft also featured a series of trades and a set of brothers being selected in the Top 5 for the first time in history.

Twin brothers Amen and Ausar Thompson went with the Nos. 4 and 5 picks, respectively going to the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons at the event Thursday in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Overtime Elite guards also made history as the first brothers to be picked within the Top 10 picks of the same NBA Draft.


"Me and Ausar, we were going to be happy whoever went first," Amen Thompson told reporters. "But it means a lot to my family seeing all the hard work pay off.

"Us going back to back, being the first twins in the same draft to go Top 5, it means a lot."


Fellow twins Marcus and Markieff Morris were picked at Nos. 13 and 14 in the 2011 NBA Draft. In 2008, brothers Brook and Robin Lopez were selected at Nos. 10 and 15.

Former Iowa forward Kris Murray went to the Blazers at No. 23 overall Thursday. His brother, Keegan Murray, went to the Sacramento Kings at No. 4 overall in 2022. Lonzo Ball (No. 2 in 2017) and LaMelo Ball (No. 3 in 2020) own the record as the only brothers to be selected in the Top 3.

"We're going to adapt," Ausar Thompson said, when asked about leaving his brother. "It may be a little hard, but I think he's going to be fine. I know I'm going to be fine. I'll FaceTime him."

The San Antonio Spurs started the event by picking Wembanyama, a highly touted 7-foot-2 French phenom. The Charlotte Hornets then selected Alabama forward Brandon Miller at No. 2 overall. G League guard Scoot Henderson landed with the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 3 overall.

"I can't really describe it," Wembanyama said about being picked No. 1. "It's still fresh. It's one of the best feelings of my life. Probably the best night of my life. I've been dreaming about this for so long. It's a dream come true. It's incredible."


After watching the twins leave their draft board, the Orlando Magic picked Arkansas guard Anthony Black at No. 6.

Then the trade tornado began to swirl.

The Indiana Pacers selected French forward Bilal Coulibaly at No. 7 overall, but traded his rights to the Washington Wizards in exchange for the rights to Houston forward Jarace Walker, the No. 8 pick.

The Utah Jazz picked Central Florida forward Taylor Hendricks at No. 9 overall. The Dallas Mavericks went on to trade the rights to Kentucky guard Cason Wallace, the No. 10 overall pick, to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Duke center Dereck Lively II, the No. 12 pick.

The Magic selected Michigan guard Jett Howard at No. 11. The Toronto Raptors picked Kansas guard Gradey Dick at No. 13. The New Orleans Pelicans then selected UConn guard Jordan Hawkins at No. 14. Michigan guard Kobe Bufkin then went to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 15.

Baylor's Keyonte George (Jazz), Indiana's Jalen Hood-Schifino (Los Angeles Lakers), UCLA's Jamie Jaquez Jr. (Miami Heat), Santa Clara's Brandin Podziemski (Golden State Warriors) and Villanova's Cam Whitmore (Rockets) were among the other Top 20 picks.


The Brooklyn Nets then picked Alabama forward Noah Clowney and Duke guard Dariq Whitehead at Nos. 21 and 22. The Blazers took Iowa forward Kris Murray at No. 23.

The Kings traded the rights to Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper, the No. 24 pick, to the Mavericks. The Boston Celtics traded the rights to Houston guard Marcus Sasser (No. 25) to the Pistons.

The Pacers picked Belmont forward Ben Sheppard at No. 26. Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr. went No. 27 overall to the Hornets. The Utah Jazz then snagged Ohio State forward Brice Sensabaugh at No. 28.

The Pacers traded the rights to Gonzaga forward Julian Strawther, the No. 29 pick, to the Denver Nuggets. The Los Angeles Clippers finished the first round by picking Missouri forward Kobe Brown.

Seven trades also involved second-round picks.

The 2023-24 league year will start July 1. Summer League play will start July 7 in Las Vegas. NBA training camps will open in late September.

First round

1. San Antonio Spurs: Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92)

2. Charlotte Hornets: Brandon Miller (Alabama)

3. Portland Trail Blazers: Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite)

4. Houston Rockets: Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite)

5. Detroit Pistons: Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite)


6. Orlando Magic: Anthony Black (Arkansas)

7. Indiana Pacers (traded to Washington Wizards): Bilal Coulibaly (Metropolitans 92)

8. Washington Wizards (traded to Pacers): Jarace Walker (Houston)

9. Utah Jazz: Taylor Hendricks (Central Florida)

10. Dallas Mavericks (traded to Oklahoma City Thunder): Cason Wallace (Kentucky)

11. Orlando Magic: Jett Howard (Michigan)

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (traded to Mavericks): Dereck Lively II (Duke)

13. Toronto Raptors: Gradey Dick (Kansas)

14. New Orleans Saints: Jordan Hawkins (Connecticut)

15. Atlanta Hawks: Kobe Bufkin (Michigan)

16. Utah Jazz: Keyonte George (Baylor)

17. Los Angeles Lakers: Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana)

18. Miami Heat: Jaime Jaquez Jr. (UCLA)

19. Golden State Warriors: Brandin Podziemski (Santa Clara)

20. Houston Rockets: Cam Whitmore (Villanova)

21. Brooklyn Nets: Noah Clowney (Alabama)

22. Brooklyn Nets: Dariq Whitehead (Duke)

23. Portland Trail Blazers: Kris Murray (Iowa)

24. Sacramento Kings (traded to Mavericks): Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Marquette)

25. Memphis Grizzlies (traded to Pistons): Marcus Sasser (Houston)

26. Indiana Pacers: Ben Sheppard (Belmont)

27. Charlotte Hornets: Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas)

28. Utah Jazz: Brice Sensabaugh (Ohio State)

29. Indiana Pacers (traded to Denver Nuggets): Julian Strawther (Gonzaga)

30. Los Angeles Clippers: Kobe Brown (Missouri)

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