How many Overtime Elite players were drafted in 2023 NBA Draft? Taking a closer look

2023 NBA Draft
Amen Thompson at the 2023 NBA Draft

There are several routes to get into the NBA and Overtime Elite just opened up another front after getting two players drafted in the top five. In fact, each of the top five came into the league in distinctly different ways.

Most NBA draft picks usually go the college route; some play longer while some go the one-and-done route just to be eligible for their class.

Some players have taken to using the G League route like Scoot Henderson, who was drafted third from the G League Ignite.

Others like the No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama go through the European professional route and then declare for the draft when ready.

The Thompson twins Amen, who was the No. 4 pick to the Houston Rockets, and Ausar, who was picked fifth by the Detroit Pistons, just showed the world a new way to enter the NBA — via the Overtime Elite program (OTE).

Two other OTE players found different types of contracts with NBA teams — Jaylen Martin and Jazian Gortman.


Are the Thompson twins the first Overtime Elite NBA players?

The answer is no. The Thompson brothers are the first players to be drafted directly from Overtime Elite, but they aren't the first alumni to play in the NBA.

Last year, OTE's Dominick Barlow snagged a two-way contract with the San Antonio Spurs. Jean Montero signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the New York Knicks and Jai Smith signed with the Sacramento Kings Summer League team.

Amen and Ausar played for two years in OTE, breaking the norm and finding a new path to the NBA.

The Knicks acquired another player last night from OTE when they secured a two-way deal with 6-foot-6 wing Jaylen Martin. He averaged 14.0 points and 5.9 rebounds during his time in OTE.

The Milwaukee Bucks also acquired Overtime Elite guard Jazian Gortman on a two-way contract. He was part of the YNG Dreamerz team that reached the OTE final, averaging 14.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists.

What is Overtime Elite?

Most basketball fans had never heard of Overtime Elite before yesterday when its alumni made it famous by being picked back-to-back in the top five.

OTE recruits high school students who want to leap to the NBA and holds a series of games while preparing them for the step up. The minimum salaries paid are said to range north of $100,000 a year.

This past season was their second in existence and they had an interesting way of doing things. Twenty players from the first season returned while they recruited 10 more players and formed three more teams.

Three captains were chosen and last season's MVP, Ausar Thompson, was given the first pick in this draft, which he used to pick his brother Amen Thompson.

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Edited by Parag Jain
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