Potential No. 1 pick Alex Sarr reveals goals to begin NBA career

Alexandre Sarr has emerged as one of the top international prospects in the 2024 NBA draft, and the potential No. 1 pick wants to make an immediate impact at the next level.

Sarr, who was born in France, brings plenty of experience after beginning his career with the Real Madrid junior team at the age of 14. He then spent two years at Overtime Elite before signing with the Perth Wildcats in the National Basketball League.

The 7-footer averaged 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks on 52% shooting from the field in 27 games with the Wildcats. He scored in double figures 14 times, including a season-high 18 points, five blocks and two rebounds on Jan. 26 against the S.E. Melbourne Phoenix.

Sarr, speaking on “Podcast P with Paul George” presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment, believes that professional experience will help his transition to the NBA.

I want to make an impact the first day I get there. Obviously, there are going to be some learning moments. There are going to be some bad games probably. I feel like I kind of already went through it and know how to get through it.

Sarr established himself as one of the top prospects after dazzling in two preseason games against the G League Ignite, averaging 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, six blocks and two assists. He continued to perform at a high level in the NBL and remained atop draft boards throughout the season.

The Frenchman is highly touted for his ability to protect the paint and block shots with his 7-foot, 4 1/4-inch wingspan. He has an evolving offensive game and has drawn some comparisons to Giannis Antetokounmpo with his size, skill set and ability in the open court.

Sarr saw the success that Victor Wembanyama saw this past season and wants to follow in his footsteps. He wants to affect games just as Wembanyama did.

I want to make an impact as much as he did in the league. I think what he did this year, he met the expectations that were given to him. It is really inspiring. He makes me think about the (French) national team 2-3 years from now and it is exciting.

He has some competition to be the first player selected by the Atlanta Hawks on June 26. Fellow countryman Zaccharie Risacher is also in contention, as the Hawks are reportedly considering both players. But Sarr likely won’t fall past the Washington Wizards at No. 2.

Sarr cited his versatility on both ends of the court and ability to play in any system as key reasons why he should be the top pick by the Hawks. He also feels as though his offensive game is underrated after being limited some in the NBL.

With much of the predraft process left to play out, Sarr is focused on preparing himself to make the jump to the NBA and his goal to become a franchise cornerstone with his next team.

“I (want to be a) part of a winning team in five years, having that established around me,” Sarr said. “Individually, I would say probably winning Rookie of the Year, getting All-Star appearances (and) making All-NBA teams maybe in 3-4 years.”

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire