Who is Alex Sarr? What to know about top NBA draft prospect from France

It's anyone's guess what the Atlanta Hawks will do with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, and because there is no sure-fire top choice like Victor Wembanyama, who ended up winning Rookie of the Year this season, the Hawks can stand to do their due diligence during the pre-draft process.

Atlanta can keep the pick and take the best available prospect or trade the pick for future draft capital. Whatever they do could set the tone for what other teams do with their slotted draft picks.

French basketball player Alex Sarr played with the Perth Wildcats last season.
French basketball player Alex Sarr played with the Perth Wildcats last season.

Atlanta can consider Alex Sarr, who has yet to work out for the Hawks. However, the Wizards, who have the No. 2 pick, have gotten a good look at the 19-year-old.

Who is Alex Sarr?

Sarr was born in France and represented his country at the FIBA U17 World Cup and FIBA U19 World Cup, leading his team to a silver medal in the U19 tournament in 2023. He spent two seasons with Overtime Elite before signing with the Perth Wildcats of the Australian National Basketball League.

Sarr stands 7-foot-1 inches tall and weighs 225 pounds, with a 7-foot-4 1/2 wingspan.

Alex Sarr statistics

Sarr averaged 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17 minutes per game with the Perth Wildcats in 27 games this past season.

Scouting report

There is much to like about Sarr, who is expected to come off the board early in the draft. Because of his large wingspan, he can make a difference defensively, and his athletic ability allows him to switch defensive assignments from the free-throw line to the perimeter.

Today's NBA allows players with Sarr's size to camp outside of the paint, both offensively and defensively, which puts a premium on whether the players can stretch the defense with a consistent outside shot. Sarr's offensive game still needs to be refined, and while he won't dominate underneath the basket, he can finish strong when set up to score.

He is only 225 pounds, so he will need time to get stronger, but he can be aggressive when he needs to be. If he does that on a nightly basis, especially if he is hitting from the perimeter and committing to post moves, the defense will have issues with him, and he won't be a liability when his team needs a clutch basket. But he shot only at 28% from three on less than two attempts per game with Perth and is a below-average free-throw shooter, so any improvement there will be beneficial.

Sarr can space the floor in offensive sets. Although he can handle the ball, he is best useful for teams that like to get out in transition, as he can fill the lane easily and finish with authority. His mid-range game has an opportunity to be elite and will destroy teams with the pick-and-roll based on the guards he is playing with.

Again, depending on the team that selects him, he has plenty of opportunity to become a consistent rotation player, with elite defensive skills that will keep in him in the league for years to come.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who is Alex Sarr? What to know about top NBA draft prospect