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Wizards to Pick Between Risacher, Sarr at No. 2 in NBA Draft

Two NBA teams had fewer than 20 wins this past season. One of them was the Washington Wizards, who finished with the second-worst record in the league at 15-67. The Wizards wound up with the second overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft and desperately need to bolster their roster. It won’t headline NBA news that the Wizards are rebuilding and will be selecting the best available talent.

However, this draft class is not littered with players projected to be perennial All-Stars. That does make the Wizards’ pick a little complicated. While they will want to pick the best player on the board, there might be no obvious choice. It’s unlikely the No. 2 pick will make the team considerably better, keeping the Wizards in line to select Cooper Flagg first overall in 2025.

Wizards to Pick Between Risacher, Sarr at No. 2 in NBA Draft
Bourg-en-Bresse's French forward Zaccharie Risacher -Ian LANGSDON / AFP

On top of that, no one position of need stands out for the Wizards, given they need upgrades all over the roster. The Wizards have no true point guard, and while Jordan Poole is on the roster, there will always be a shot-selection issue despite his shot-creation skills.

On the wings, Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija are both solid but are still far from being All-Star-level players. Bilal Coulibaly had a solid rookie second before he got hurt. There is nothing significant to get excited about among the team’s bigs outside of Marvin Bagley III, which is where the Wizards could go in the draft on June 26.

 

Risacher Best Player Available … Or is He?

Currently, Zaccharie Risacher is projected to go second overall, with betting odds at -140.If he is available, the Wizards will likely select him, even though they drafted a player with a similar style last season in Coulibaly.

Both are young French wings who are solid on the defensive end and have a lot of offensive upside, especially from behind the 3-point line. Risacher has a lot more offensive upside – he is already a proven shooter, which Coulibaly was not when the Wizards drafted him seventh overall in 2023.

Risacher played for JL Bourg in the LNB Pro A (the French basketball league), averaging 11.1 points and 3.6 rebounds over 49 games in the LNB Pro A and the EuroCup. However, the biggest thing to notice is that he shot 38.7% from three during that time, on 3.4 attempts per game.

 

 

That shooting ability should transition to the NBA and help the Wizards. But outside of that, Risacher needs to develop his skills to have a bigger overall impact. He is only averaging one assist per game, compared to 1.5 turnovers.

Given that this is a long-term plan for the Wizards, Risacher seems to be the best player because of his shooting ability. That will make it hard for them not to select him and hope, along with Coulibaly, they both continue to develop.

 

Sarr Perfect Fit for Wizards if he Falls to No. 2

Despite being favored to go to the Wizards, Risacher is a better fit for the team drafting first overall, the Atlanta Hawks. If the Hawks pick Risacher at No. 1, that would be perfect for the Wizards because it would open the door for them to select Alexandre Sarr.


The Wizards’ odds of selecting Sarr are +150, but if he falls to them, they will 100% take him. Sarr is the perfect fit for the Wizards, who have no depth behind Bagley at center. Furthermore, both Bagley and Sarr can play power forward, making Sarr an immediate starter for the Wizards.

Another Frenchman, Sarr played for Perth Wildcats last season in the NBL (the basketball league in Australia and New Zealand). He did not get much playing time, averaging 17.2 minutes over 24 games, but he still put up solid stats. Sarr averaged 9.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in those limited minutes.

Defensively, Sarr has a chance to shine in the NBA, especially as a shot blocker. He is just under 7 feet tall, with a 7-foot-4-inch wingspan, making him an immediate presence around the rim. Offensively, there are some issues. Sarr did show that he is willing to take advantage of a defense sagging off of him, taking two threes a game, but he only shot 29.8% from behind the 3-point line.

Early on, most of his scoring opportunities could come from being a lob threat, but since the Wizards don’t have a point guard, that could be an issue. Still, Sarr is a perfect fit for the Wizards, immediately getting playing time and helping fortify a weak defense.

 

Clingan Makes Sense for Wizards

The player with the third-best odds of being selected second overall is Donovan Clingan, which also makes a lot of sense. Clingan’s odds are set at +500, and he can offer many of the same things Sarr can. The 7-2 center is one of the best paint defenders in the draft and could be more effective offensively around the rim than Sarr. Plus, Clingan is a better rebounder.

In addition, Clingan is a back-to-back national champion at UConn, bringing a winning culture to the Wizards. However, the Wizards are still rebuilding, and Clingan is a year older than Sarr and slightly less athletic. If Sarr is unavailable, the Wizards may look at Clingan. However, it seems unlikely since most analysts would rather have Risacher.

 

Best Bet at No. 2 Overall Pick for Wizards

The Hawks will select Risacher, who is a much better fit. Plus, the Hawks already have two centers that play like Sarr, so drafting him would only make sense if they moved one of those players. That opens the door for the Wizards to take Sarr at No. 2 overall, which has betting value in NBA picks.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Is there a position of need that the Wizards should be focused on?


This Wizards roster has many issues, so they must draft based on the best talent available. Predicting their pick in the draft is hard, but it does simplify their needs.

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