NBA Draft Lottery: Hawks get No. 1 pick, despite 3 percent chance of winning

French center Alex Sarr is viewed by many as the top prospect

The Atlanta Hawks will have the No. 1 selection in the 2024 NBA Draft after winning the Draft Lottery on Sunday.

It's the first top overall pick for the Hawks since drafting David Thompson in 1975. Atlanta had never won the draft lottery before. The team was represented on stage in Chicago by general manager Landry Fields.

The Detroit Pistons (14–68) and Washington Wizards (15–67) had the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick at 14%. The Hawks had a 3% chance (and +3000 odds) of winning the selection with their 36–46 record.

Unlike last year, when Victor Wembanyama was the clear prize as the top selection with Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson viewed as the next-best prospects, there is no obvious choice for No. 1 in this year's class. But several players can fill key needs for the teams that did not make the NBA playoffs.

Here is how the top 14 selections for 2024 line up after the lottery results:

  1. Atlanta Hawks

  2. Washington Wizards

  3. Houston Rockets *

  4. San Antonio Spurs

  5. Detroit Pistons

  6. Charlotte Hornets

  7. Portland Trail Blazers

  8. San Antonio Spurs **

  9. Memphis Grizzlies

  10. Utah Jazz

  11. Chicago Bulls

  12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Houston) ***

  13. Sacramento Kings

  14. Portland Trail Blazers (from Golden State) ****

* Houston received this pick from Brooklyn in the 2020 James Harden trade.

** Toronto lost this pick, traded for Jakob Poeltl, after it wasn't a top six selection.

*** Oklahoma City got this selection from Houston in a 2019 deal involving Russell Westbrook.

**** Golden State would have kept this pick if it landed in the top four.

Two French basketball prospects, Alex Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher, are viewed as the top two draft prospects.

Yahoo Sports NBA draft analyst Krysten Peek has Sarr, 19, as the No. 1 selection in her latest mock draft. Here is what she had to say about the 7-foot-1 center in a draft lottery preview:

Sarr, who elected to play for the Perth Wildcats in Australia's NBL for one season, commanded the attention of NBA scouts and executives in the fall during a pair of exhibition games in Las Vegas against the G League Ignite. He showcased a much improved motor and elite rim protection, and solidified himself as a potential top pick after dominating the paint against other projected lottery talent in Matas Buzelis and Ron Holland. During his one season for the Wildcats, Sarr averaged 9.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 18 minutes per game.

Risacher, also 19, is more of an offensive talent than defensive presence as a 6-foot-9 wing, according to Peek:

Risacher is still playing for JL Bourg-en-Bresse in the LNB Pro A French League. The 6-9 wing — whose dad, Stéphane, was a six-time French League All-Star and won a silver medal with France at the 2000 Summer Olympics — has played over 60 games this season, more than any other prospect, and shown significant improvement since he played for Team World at the Nike Hoop Summit last spring. One of the best catch-and-shoot wings in the draft, Risacher is shooting 39% from 3-point range on 3.5 attempts per game and has added better decision-making in the lane and is an improving facilitator.

Other players who could be selected among the top five picks are UConn center Donovan Clingan and guard Stephon Castle, and Serbian guard Nikola Topić. Kentucky guards Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard, Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht and G League Ignite forward Matas Buzelis are also projected as top draft prospects.

These players and many more among 78 prospects who could help their chances of moving up the board with their performance at the NBA draft combine, which began Sunday in Chicago. Fans can watch combine activities May 15–16 on ESPN2 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

The 2024 NBA Draft will be held on June 26–27. For the first time, the draft will be a two-night event with the first round taking place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on June 26. The second round will be held at ESPN's Seaport District Studios in New York on June 27.