NBA Draft live blog: French wing Zaccharie Risacher 1st off the board to Atlanta Hawks

Jun 26, 2024, 5:31 PM | Updated: 8:28 pm

The top prospects pose for a photo with NBA commissioner Adam Silver prior to the first round of th...

The top prospects pose for a photo with NBA commissioner Adam Silver prior to the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2024 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Check back for more on the 2024 NBA Draft and how it could reshape the league with picks, trades and surprises.

Visit for Phoenix Suns coverage as they came out of the first round with former Virginia forward Ryan Dunn and hold No. 56 in Thursday’s second round, following a trade with Denver.

No. 1 – Atlanta Hawks: Zaccharie Risacher, W, JL Bourg

Emerging as the top prospect in perhaps the most uncertain draft in years, Risacher fits the mold of what many NBA teams search for, standing at 6-foot-10, moving like a guard and hitting shots from long range. Across 42 games in Eurocup and French League play, he knocked down 56-of-155 (36.1%) of his 3s.

Atlanta shied away from going down the direction of center, despite having their choice of prospects like Alexandre Sarr and Donovan Clingan sitting at the top of the board. The Hawks, with maximum-contract guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, elected to go with Risacher, who thrived most as a spot-up 3-and-D wing, taking 124 of his 155 3-pointers off the catch and racking up nearly one steal per game playing excellent defense across multiple positions.

No. 2 – Washington Wizards: Alexandre Sarr, F/C, Perth Wildcats

The brother of former Phoenix Suns Summer League center Olivier Sarr, who now plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Alexandre presents some of the same problems defensively for offenses that his fellow high selection from France, Victor Wembanyama, does in terms of length, speed and ground coverage.

On Washington, Sarr has a straightforward avenue to playing time with Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes the only other two bigs on Washington’s roster.

No. 3 – Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn Nets): Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky

Sheppard provides instant 3-and-D contributions from either guard spot for a Rockets team ready to start competing, shooting 52.1% on 3s and grabbing 2.5 steals per game. He played in an extremely minimized role at Kentucky, so it’s hard to project much ceiling above where he’s already at, but it’s a pick that should at the very least improve Houston’s shooting.

No. 4 – San Antonio Spurs: Stephon Castle, W, UConn

The Spurs needed some perimeter creation help to take some attention away from Wembanyama, and everything Castle learned in his lone championship season at UConn gave him the connective skills to be that answer for San Antonio. Castle’s dynamic as an athlete, but less so as a playmaker, something Gregg Popovich can help polish.

No. 5 – Detroit Pistons: Ron Holland, F, G League Ignite

Arguably the player with the most upside in the class, Holland is an injection of downhill slashing and transition dominance (nearly 60% on nearly nine rim attempts per game), but he does nothing to solve Detroit’s shooting issues in a way that Holland’s Ignite teammate, Matas Buzelis, would have.

No. 6 – Charlotte Hornets: Tidjane Salaun, F, Cholet

The third Frenchman in the draft’s first six selections, Salaun has proven the least of the bunch, playing a full pro season for the first time this past year in the French League. Similarly to Risacher, Salaun stands as a prototypical 3-and-D wing at 6-foot-9, shooting a mechanically clean 33.9% on catch-and-shoot 3s.

No. 7 – Portland Trail Blazers: Donovan Clingan, C, UConn

The Blazers made their third center acquisition in the last calendar year, with Clingan joining former Phoenix Sun Deandre Ayton and Robert Williams in the Blazers’ big man room. By my estimation, Clingan is the best true center in the draft class, but playing time may be hard to come by barring a trade. Ayton has, however, shown an affinity for playing power forward.

With Castle and Clingan both going in the top half of the lottery, it marks the first time two Huskies have gone top 10 since 2004 when Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon both went top three.

No. 8 – Minnesota Timberwolves (via San Antonio Spurs via Raptors): Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky

If there’s enough playmaking between Dillingham and Anthony Edwards to hold up without a point guard, this could develop into one of the most dangerous backcourts in the league, given Dillingham’s deep shooting and Edwards’ downhill attacking.

Minnesota traded for Dillingham by sending San Antonio a 2031 unprotected first-round pick (one of the only available assets the Suns have) and 2030 top-one protected first-round pick swap.

No. 9 – Memphis Grizzlies: Zach Edey, C, Purdue

This pick feels like a settle to me after Memphis tried to trade up with Charlotte for Clingan. Edey does provide a solid base for rim protection, which Memphis hasn’t had since Steven Adams was injured in January 2023, but it feels like the Grizzlies could’ve tried to trade back to get some better value.

No. 10 – Utah Jazz: Cody Williams, F, Colorado

Williams works well for Utah, because he’ll have the time to develop at his own pace. Utah has shown an affection for long wings with skill who can defend, and that’s exactly the mold Williams fits into.

No. 11 – Chicago Bulls: Matas Buzelis, F, G League Ignite

One of the most versatile players in the class, this feels like one of the smarter moves Chicago has made recently, especially considering Buzelis was born and raised in the Chicago area and provides more shooting at 6-foot-10 than most of the current Bulls roster does.

No. 12 – Oklahoma City Thunder (via Houston Rockets): Nikola Topic, PG, Red Star

Topic fell a bit due to a partially torn ACL that came up in recent weeks along with minor injuries in his European season but impressed as a playmaker when he played for KK Mega in Serbia and played more as an off-ball wing at Red Star. While he won’t contribute immediately because of the injuries, he slides right into the hole left by Josh Giddey, who was traded for Alex Caruso on Friday.

No. 13 – Sacramento Kings: Devin Carter, G, Providence

This is a perfect fit for the Kings because Carter is what Sacramento wanted Davion Mitchell to be, shooting a ridiculous 37.7% on 6.8 3s per game along with 1.8 steals and one block per game despite standing 6-foot-2. His 6-foot-9-plus wingspan helps in that department.

No. 14 – Washington Wizards (via Golden State Warriors via Blazers): Bub Carrington, G, Pitt

Carrington was one my favorite prospects throughout the process because of his pull-up 3-point shooting and connective traits around that. He has the ability to blend in on either side when he’s not featured, which is rare among young creators.

Wrapping up a lottery that wasn’t littered with star talent, Washington was able to pick up two very real prospects to build around if they so choose between Carrington and Sarr.

No. 15 – Miami Heat: Kel’el Ware, C, Indiana

There might not be a better match in the draft because the only red flags with Ware were effort-related, and if there’s anywhere in the NBA where effort-related red flags won’t fly, it’s the Miami Heat. Ware will look up to Bam Adebayo in the depth chart, who has made All-Defense teams mostly off his elite effort.

No. 16 – Philadelphia 76ers: Jared McCain, G, Duke

McCain, very similar to Tyrese Maxey in 2020, fell right into the Sixers’ lap. He is much more offensively talented than the other guards left on the board at this point, especially when considering McCain’s off-the-dribble prowess as a scorer and a passer.

No. 17 – Los Angeles Lakers: Dalton Knecht, G/W, Tennessee

Knecht immediately becomes one of the most dynamic shooters on LA’s roster, a triple threat at all three levels of the floor. His age and experience will help him fit right into a win-now team.

No. 18 – Orlando Magic: Tristan da Silva, W, Colorado

A quick-fix for perimeter shooting, da Silva will also fit right into the win-now efforts for Orlando by connecting with high-usage forwards Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero, hitting shots when needed and taking some pressure off their defensive responsibilities.

No. 19 – Toronto Raptors (via Indiana Pacers): Ja’Kobe Walter, G, Baylor

Raptors needed to take a shooter and Walter was one of the best shooters left on the board. He defended better than most expected for how many minutes he ended up playing as a freshman in the Big 12, the toughest conference in basketball.

No. 20 – Cleveland Cavaliers: Jaylon Tyson, W, Cal

One of the first reaches in the draft, Tyson will bring a connective wing to the Cavs, who have struggled to find a steady option at the 3 spot. He will defend his position and can get you a bucket in a pinch.

No. 21 – New Orleans Pelicans (via Milwaukee Bucks): Yves Missi, C, Baylor

If New Orleans wanted a rim runner with the potential to match Zion Williamson’s physicality, Missi can provide that. The easy comp is to last year’s Dereck Lively pick by Dallas, although I wouldn’t peg Missi as ready to contribute as Lively was.

No. 22 – Denver Nuggets (via Phoenix Suns): DaRon Holmes II, F/C, Dayton

Holmes fits like a glove with Denver because of how he can play his free-flowing style of offense. He can play as the backup big in lineups without Nikola Jokic and play alongside the MVP of three of the last four seasons thanks to his versatility.

Denver moved up to get its big man of choice in Holmes as the Suns picked up Nos. 28, 56 and second-round picks in 2026 and 2031 to help replenish their draft capital.

No. 23 – Milwaukee Bucks (via New Orleans Pelicans): A.J. Johnson, G, Illawara Hawks

One of the biggest uncertainties to come off the board in the first round, Johnson has a lot of potential but will likely land in the G League to hone his ball skills before playing alongside the Bucks’ bona fide stars.

No. 24 – Washington Wizards (via New York Knicks via Mavericks): Kyshawn George, W, Miami

The Wizards have done a nice job adding talent with upside in this first round, but I’m not sure where the playing time comes from with so many other wings in the fold.

No. 25 – New York Knicks: Pacome Dadiet, F, Ratiopharm Ulm

Dadiet provides one of the best motors among the forwards in this range, which was an easy selling point for head coach Tom Thibodeau. He also has the right length and movement skills, giving him an edge to land in the rotation sooner rather than later.

No. 26 – Oklahoma City Thunder (via Knicks via Wizards via Clippers): Dillon Jones, G, Weber State

Leave it to the Oklahoma City Thunder to make the most fun pick of the night. They took one of the most versatile players in the class at 6-foot-6 and well over 210 pounds, playing all five positions at times this season thanks to his skill and feel for the game. He should fit right in.

No. 27 – Minnesota Timberwolves: Terrence Shannon Jr., G, Illinois

As if the Timberwolves didn’t have an already dangerous backcourt with Edwards and the incoming Dillingham, Minnesota added the fastest transition player last season. He also shot the ball effectively and did so as the No. 1 option on his team.

No. 28 – Phoenix Suns (via Denver Nuggets): Ryan Dunn, F, Virginia

Widely regarded as the best defender in the draft at his position, Dunn will immediately help on that end, as well as on the glass and in transition. If Phoenix is able to correct his shot, the Suns may have nabbed one of the steals of the draft.

In trading back with Denver, the Suns scooped up No. 56 in this year’s draft and two more second-round picks in 2026 and 2031.

No. 29 – Utah Jazz (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Isaiah Collier, PG, USC

Along the same lines of Utah’s earlier pick at No. 10 with Williams, Collier will have the chance to slow play his development, attacking defenses and fanning out to teammates as he learns how best to find his own offense.

No. 30 – Boston Celtics: Baylor Scheierman, G/W, Creighton

Just like the Thunder making a fun pick late in the first, the Celtics were able to get a guy who can be a real difference maker immediately. Scheierman will likely fit into an extended edition of the Sam Hauser role where he’ll come in and light up defenses with movement shooting, bringing a bit more in playmaking and defense than Hauser could.

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