The Frenchman

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

We are going to recap the 2024 NBA Draft. Let’s take a look around the Southeast and rate each team’s first round pick.

#1 Atlanta: 6’9 SF Zaccharie Risacher, JL Bourg (France)

For the second year in a row, the top pick from the NBA was a French player. It’s interesting to see France now as a hotbed for basketball talent.

This draft was a bit different from because there was not a person that was a consensus number one pick.

Another Frenchman, Alex Sarr was selected No. 2 by Washington. He obviously was in play to be picked by Atlanta but he refused to workout with the team, which forced them to go in a different direction.

Risacher has potential, which will get the general manager fired if he does not live up to it. He’s a solid 3-and-D prototype player. You do wish you could say more about a top draft pick though. His stats are not impressive when you look at them.

He played pro basketball in France and he averaged 10.1 points per game and played 22 minutes per game. He was 18 last season playing against adults so take that into consideration.

“I feel like there is no pressure,” Risacher said at the team’s introductory press conference. “I’m just realizing my dream, and I feel like I’ll just focus on the good stuff and on the right stuff.”

He wants to compete and contribute to winning in Atlanta.

“Just focusing on like the good stuff, like being a pro player, who is serious, who has his routine, who doesn’t pay attention to outside noise, who is always with his teammates, who feel like he’s a part of this family,” Risacher said. “And I think that those are important for, especially, first-round pick to have. Because there was a lot of expectations and a lot of noise around. So it’s important to focus on the good stuff, and I’m super glad to get into this great organization with those great people who want to develop me as a player, who want to win. So that’s amazing.”

Grade: B

# 6 Charlotte: 6’9 PF Tidjane Salaun, Cholet (France)

He’s still 18 so we also cannot put a huge emphasis on his stats last season. He averaged 9 ppg, 4 rpg and 22.7 mpg. He does have a high motor and the potential to improve his shot. He does fill a position of need for the Hornets but he was also picked based off his potential

Grade: B-

# 9 Memphis: 7’4 C Zach Edey, Purdue

Edey is one of the most decorated college players ever. He led the Boilermakers to a national championship game appearance against UConn.

Even though his team lost, he scored 37 points and had 10 rebounds. He was projected as a late first round pick because some people doubt his athleticism but I think this is a great pick.

Grade: B+

# 15 Miami: 7’0 C Kel’el Ware, Indiana

Ware averaged 15.9 ppg and 9.9 rpg last season. He has all of the measurables but there are questions about his motor and physicality. He has also said that he’s not sure how much he loves basketball.

Grade: B-

# 18 Orlando: 6’8 Wing Tristan da Silva, Colorado

He’s a four-year starter so he has a lot of experience. He can step in and play right away. He averaged 16 ppg and 5.1 rpg. He will probably play small forward now unless he bulks up enough to be a small-ball power forward.

Grade: B