Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

2024 NBA Draft: Surprise Team Named As Alexandre Sarr Suitor

2024 NBA Draft lottery board for Alexander Sarr article

The Atlanta Hawks are widely expected to draft JL Bourg forward Zaccharie Risacher with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Whether it’s because they can’t bring in Perth big man Alexandre Sarr or they just prefer Risacher is unknown. However, so long as the Hawks keep the pick, it appears that the Frenchman will be headed to the Peach State.

With that said, Atlanta may be willing to wheel and deal. The San Antonio Spurs have been painted as the most likely trade suitor for the No. 1 pick, presumably to target Risacher. A player who face of the franchise Victor Wembanyama is fond of, Risacher’s catch-and-shoot potential fits a major Spurs need. However, recent rumors suggest that there’s another prospect San Antonio is interested in.

“Sarr is widely projected to go No. 2 overall to Washington… but rumbles about [the Spurs’] interest in jumping up from No. 4 to No. 1 by constructing a trade with the Hawks haven’t gone away,” reports NBA insider Marc Stein.

Spurs Named As Surprise Alex Sarr Draft Suitor

The idea of pairing Sarr and Wembanyama may be off-putting to some due to their positional overlap. However, both Sarr and Wembanyama are hybrid big men rather than traditional power forwards or centers. Put another way, their combination of size, athleticism, and guard skills prevents them from being put in a box.

As a result, drafting Sarr puts the Spurs in a unique position.

The Beauty of the Steiffel Towers

Every team is looking for a leg up on the competition. However, the NBA is about matchups nearly as much as it is about talent. Indeed, certain moves are made with an eye on disrupting a defensive gameplan.

By drafting Sarr, the Spurs will be forcing their opponents to guard two fluid big men that thrive on the perimeter. This draws rim-protectors out of the paint and leads to size mismatches, as opposing teams will often try to match the speed and quickness of hybrid big men by putting smaller players on them.

At the other end, the shot-blocking potential is clear. Wembanyama is already looking the best rim-protector in the NBA, leading the league with 3.2 blocks per game as a rookie. Unless his pterodactyl-like length, agility, and timing go away, his defense will remain elite. Meanwhile, Sarr has a knack for barricading the paint as well, averaging 3.1 blocks per 36 minutes at 7-foot-1.

Ultimately, opposing teams would have a lot of trouble trying to score inside. Yet, both Wembanyama and Sarr are physically capable of guarding out in space as well. Therefore, they’ll be more capable of rotating and switching pick-and-rolls than the average team.

All of that said, because of his slight frame and high center of gravity, Wembanyama’s somewhat vulnerable to strong interior scorers. However, 15 pounds heavier and possessing a firmer base, Sarr is less likely to be thrown off-kilter by those archetypes.

The Bucks of the Southwest?

Unlike other teams who run a 5-out offense, both of the Spurs’ bigs will be at least seven feet tall. As a result, few teams will have personnel who are suited to slow the Spurs’ Steiffel Towers. In fact, the closest comparison to this hypothetical Spurs duo would be Milwaukee Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.

Notably, the Bucks have finished in the top-10 in points per game in every season the two have played together. They’ve had a top-10 offensive rating in all but one of those seasons.

This is due in large part to Antetokounmpo’s offensive evolution. Since Lopez’s arrival, he’s averaged 29.5 points per game. For reference, he averaged 26.9 points per game in 2017-18 and 22.9 points per game the previous season. However, teams also just have trouble figuring out how to matchup with Antetokounmpo’s attacks and Lopez’s jumper and still protect their rim at the same time.

The Bucks have also had one of the league’s best defenses with Antetokounmpo and Lopez. In all but one of the seasons that they were coached by Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee’s defensive rating was ranked in the top-10.


More Posts