25 Feb

France’s Zaccharie Risacher goes No. 1; Colorado’s Cody Williams lands at No. 4

NBA teams no doubt have varying philosophies and priorities for how to rank and view players in any given class. Those philosophies and priorities are influenced by myriad factors including job security, team need and overall evaluation. But in my role as an analyst my modus operandi has always been to rank highest the players who present the most star potential in the long term accounting for positional size, athleticism, age, production and other factors.

That’s why rising French star Zaccharie Risacher is No. 1 in my latest mock draft below. Risacher, who would be the second LNB Pro A product to go No. 1 in as many years (Victor Wembanyama from Mets 92 in 2023), combines rare traits with an ideal frame and upside to grow both on the ball as a playmaker and as a defender. He’s still raw in terms of where he is developed physically, which comes as no surprise given he’s just 18 years old, but there’s a lot in his game that could be molded into something spectacular if things go right for him. He’s tenacious as a defender and a timely cutter on offense. The flashes that make you go whoa don’t come every sequence the way they did with Wembanyama, but they’re there, and they are enough to buy in to for a team looking to swing for the fences.

The 2024 NBA Draft class is of course wide open at the top so reasonable minds may differ and preferences — be it positionally or eval-based — could put Serbian star Nikola Topic or French star Alex Sarr at No. 1. They go No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in my mock below to the Spurs and Pistons, respectively.

The below mock is based primarily off of how I rank the class and does not take into account team need and fit given that there is still a huge chunk of the NBA season still left to play and a lot left unsettled for the time being as to how the actual draft order will look this summer. Order is based on odds via SportsLine.

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