Amen Thompson won't have the luxury of starting like his brother, but it won't take long for it to become extremely clear that Thompson is the best prospect — maybe even the best player — on the Houston Rockets' upstart roster. Ime Udoka will fall in love with the intangibles, not to mention the unmatched athleticism, nutty playmaking instincts, and major defensive upside Thompson provides.
Where his brother is probably a top-10 or so athlete in the NBA, Thompson might claim the No. 1 spot. That's an impossible-to-define category, but Thompson's size, explosiveness, and coordination are truly difficult to comprehend. He will bend time and space like a dragonfly, darting through cracks in the defense before deploying unthinkably complex finishes at the basket to evade rim protection.
He has already splashed a couple of pull-up 3s in the preseason, which is a huge development. Thompson's rim pressure and playmaking were frightening enough when he was a non-shooter. If defenders have to get on the perimeter and match Thompson stride for stride, it's game over. He has one of the best first steps in the NBA.
A lot of attention was rightfully paid to Wemby and Scoot atop the 2023 draft class, but the Thompson twins profile as very possible future All-Stars — maybe more than that. It was a loaded lottery class. The Rockets have a lot of depth and a mandate to win. Fred VanVleet is going to steal a lot of ball-handling reps from Thompson. And, despite those non-ideal circumstances, it's going to be difficult to keep Thompson out of the mix here.
He's going to shine, even in a limited role.