AJC NBA mock draft: Hawks select Alexandre Sarr with No. 1 pick

Landry Fields and the Hawks currently hold the top pick in the 2024 NBA draft, which begins June 26.

Credit: Nam Y. Huh

Credit: Nam Y. Huh

Landry Fields and the Hawks currently hold the top pick in the 2024 NBA draft, which begins June 26.

The Hawks are on the clock with the first pick of the NBA draft. Here’s a mock look at how things could unfold with the 14 lottery teams in the first round June 26.

Here’s a breakdown of the five players expected to go high in the draft – players the Hawks may also be considering with the No. 1 pick – and a list of the other nine potential lottery picks. Both Frenchmen – Alexandre Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher – have been linked to the Hawks, while the team has reportedly already hosted Conneticut’s Donovan Clingan for a workout.

1. Hawks: Alexandre Sarr (France). The Hawks lacked size in the frontcourt. They could also use the addition of another big man after sometimes playing without two rotational centers at different points last season. Sarr stands at 7-foot-1, has a 7-5 wingspan and could give the Hawks a defensive anchor down low. The 19-year-old already has a good shooting form, which gives the Hawks room to potentially develop him into a stretch big.

2. Wizards: Zaccharie Risacher (France). The Wizards would get another playmaker and strong shooter to the group that already have. The 19-year-old has plenty of versatility that would allow the Wizards to move him up or down the lineup. The Wizards have a number of wings in the rotation, but Risacher has shown versatility and promise on defense that they’ll want to take advantage of.

3. Rockets via Nets: Donovan Clingan (Connecticut). While the Rockets may not need another center with two under contract, there’s nothing wrong with adding depth in the frontcourt. The 7-2 center could give them another option against some of the bigs of the Western Conference and immediately would add a formidable interior presence.

4. Spurs: Reed Sheppard (Kentucky). Draft analysts have praised Sheppard – the son of former Kentucky star and Mr. Georgia Basketball Jeff Sheppard – for his feel for the game and unselfishness as a playmaker. The Spurs are in need of another playmaker to complement the skill set of last year’s top overall pick in Victor Wembanyama. Sheppard shot 52% from 3-point range and could bolster the team’s outside shooting after it shot 34% last season.

5. Pistons: Matas Buzelis (G League Ignite). Though the Pistons already added a wing with size when they drafted Ausar Thompson last year, there’s never a shortage for need of a big wing. Buzelis’ feel for the game would pair nicely alongside the young pieces the Pistons have, and his athletic ability would add another layer to an offense that needed a jolt at times during games last season.

6. Hornets: Stephon Castle (UConn)

7. Trail Blazers: Cody Williams (Colorado)

8. Spurs via Raptors: Devin Carter (Providence)

9. Grizzlies: Dalton Knecht (Tennessee)

Former Kentucky Wildcats player Rob Dillingham is expected to be a lottery pick in the 2024 NBA draft, which begins June 26.

Credit: James Crisp

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Credit: James Crisp

10. Jazz: Robert Dillingham (Kentucky)

11. Bulls: Ron Holland (G League Ignite)

12. Thunder via Rockets: Nikola Topic (Serbia)

13. Kings: Ja’Kobe Walter (Baylor)

14. Trail Blazers via Warriors: Kel’el Ware (Indiana)