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2024 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Alex Sarr

The Wizards may have a chance to draft another long Frenchman in 7-footer Alex Sarr

NBL Rd 11 - Perth Wildcats v Tasmania Jackjumpers Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

With about two-and-half months left in what will likely be the worst season in the Wizards’ 63-year franchise history, the NBA Draft approaches like a dim light at the end of a tunnel. Washington will probably land a top-5 selection for the first time since 2013 when they selected Otto Porter to add to fellow top picks Bradley Beal (#3 in 2012) and John Wall (#1 in 2010). That early-2010s run of high draft selections led to the Wizards’ best five-year stretch since Wes Unseld Sr.’s playing days.

The mid-2020s Wizards are hoping to hit on a string of draft picks in the same way. Last year’s “selection” Bilal Coulibaly will be a part of the future and may be the star for DC someday. The 2023 class featured more projected superstars and a stronger overall class than 2024 (according to draft experts). So even with a higher draft pick, Washington may not land a better prospect than Coulibaly. But the ‘24 class has plenty of intriguing players who could make an impact at the next level. Let’s look at some of the top picks in the 2024 NBA Draft starting with Alexandre Sarr of the NBL’s Perth Wildcats.

About Sarr

  • Position: C/F
  • Height: 7’1”; Wingspan: 7’4 ½”
  • Age on Draft Day: 19.2 years old

Sarr is a part of the French Revolution storming the NBA. Born in Bordeaux and raised in Toulouse, he grew up in a basketball family with his dad who played in Senegal and his brother, Olivier, who plays for OKC now. He spent time in the Real Madrid youth system and Overtime Elite before playing true professional basketball in Australia’s NBL. He’s averaging 9.5 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 61.9% from two, 29.5% from three, and 66% at the free throw line.

Scouting Notes

Sarr’s best attribute is his physical profile right now. He’s a 7-footer with enough grace to attack from the perimeter, run the floor, confidently shoot jumpers, and even bring the ball up. He’s most comfortable around the paint on both ends right now and the Perth Wildcat try to place him near the basket as much as possible. He can hang in the air and use his extend-o-arms to block shots from bizarre angles while avoiding contact. He has also shown flashes of defending on the perimeter and switching ball screens.

Offensively, he has greatly improved his finishing around the basket in the past year as he grows into his body. Like many European players, he’s a great passer and has a good feel for the game. He consistently maintains good spacing and cuts while remaining a threat to score. He also displays great body language and seems like a good teammate.

Sarr will need to get more physical to play center at the next level, which is a given for most teenagers entering the league. His shot needs work and he might struggle to make an impact early on if he can’t improve it. He seems confident from mid-range, but his release resembles a catapult too much right now. He doesn’t always play with as much force as you would expect. When he’s feeling it, his energy brings a wow factor. But he sometimes lacks fire early in games or when struggling. For example, he will finish wide-open dunk attempts with soft layups occasionally.

Sarr’s biggest potential question mark is if he can develop an elite skill in the NBA. He could be more of a jack-of-all-trades type who struggles to find a place. But at just 18 years old, he has plenty of time to evolve his game.

Fit with Wizards

Winger and Dawkins obviously like a long Frenchman in last year’s draft. In a lot of ways, Sarr is the Center version of Coulibaly. Both of them are teenagers with professional experience in top leagues abroad. Sarr, like Coulibaly, will be a project offensively but could make an impact on defense early in his career. He fits the mold of what rebuilding teams have looked for recently and would fit in Washington’s timeline.

Positional needs shouldn’t be much of a factor at this stage in the rebuild. But Sarr makes a lot of sense with what the Wizards already have. He has drawn comparisons to Jarren Jackson Jr., Jonathan Issac, and Derek Lively II with his rim protection and play-finishing potential. Sarr at the five with Coulibaly and the recently-extended Deni Avdija on the wings makes for an intriguing young core on good value contracts.