"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Who is Alexander Czar basketball player?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Alexandre Dam Sarr (/sɑːr/ SAR, French pronunciation: [alɛksɑ̃dʁ saʁ]; born 26 April 2005) is a French professional basketball player for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA)."}}]}}

Fantasy basketball NBA draft fallout: Alex Sarr and 11 more intriguing rookies (2024)

If you’re like me, it’s usually a letdown when flying home from an awesome vacation. But I had no complaints this time around since I got to watch the first round of the NBA draft on Wednesday night while flying back from Oahu. I had an excellent time on the island — I blasted my quads and calves hiking to the top of Koko Head Crater, and somehow placed Top 40 out of 400 competitors in a swim race across Waimea Bay — but the draft quickly put that behind me and got me excited for the upcoming NBA season.


From the 2023 NBA Draft class, there are only 16 players who played 1,200 minutes or more last season — the equivalent of 17 minutes per game over 70 games played. With less top-end talent in this year’s draft class, but perhaps better role players, we might see a few more rookies earning rotation minutes this coming season.

Listed below are a dozen rookies who really stand out to me as having a chance to play solid rotation minutes in Year 1, potentially providing some useful fantasy value during the 2024-25 NBA season. I have broken these 12 players down into three different groups, and then ranked them within each group based on expected fantasy relevance. Of course, some of this is subject to change based on how the rest of the offseason plays out.

My early pick for Rookie of the Year goes to…

Leading Rookie of the Year candidates — Major minutes coming

1. Alex Sarr — Washington Wizards

Most elite NBA prospects would love to be the first overall pick, but Sarr seemed to prefer going second overall instead. That’s where player fit and team needs come into play, as the Wizards have been hunting for a true franchise center ever since they swung and missed on drafting Kwame Brown 23 years ago. Excluding their short-term rental of Kristaps Porzingis, their top center during that span has been Marcin Gortat. While Gortat was more than serviceable, he was never quite an All-Star caliber player. Washington fans would love for Sarr to put an end to that streak, while becoming a modern-day hybrid of Elvin Hayes and Gheorghe Muresan.

Barring a major free agent signing, Sarr should slide right into Washington’s starting lineup, as his only competition is the still-disappointing Marvin Bagley, the aging Richaun Holmes, and the unproven Tristan Vukcevic. He’s also helped by the fact that the Wizards just traded away do-it-all forward Deni Avdija to Portland for the steady vet Malcolm Brogdon. It’s going to be a steep learning curve for Sarr, but the Wizards are building towards the future, and his minutes — and fantasy production — will likely improve as the season wears on. He’s not the next Wemby, but I could see Sarr putting up similar numbers to Evan Mobley’s rookie season, when Mobley averaged 15.0 points, 8.3 boards and 1.7 blocked shots in 33.8 minutes per game. If he can come close to that, Sarr should be the favorite to win the ROY award.

2. Zaccharie Risacher — Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta’s roster is still in flux, as everyone is anticipating either a Trae Young or Dejounte Murray trade this summer, with other dominoes likely to follow, such as veteran center Clint Capela. With that in mind, Risacher doesn’t know who he’ll be playing alongside just yet, but he’s slated to become one of their top players right away, on both ends of the floor.

If everything goes right, Risacher projects to be an elite 3-and-D wing, but his 3-point shooting overseas was streaky, and the rest of his floor stats have been pretty underwhelming, at roughly 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.5 blocks per 36 minutes over his past two seasons. The weak shot-blocking numbers are somewhat of a red flag to me, given his solid length and athleticism. But given that he just turned 19 years old a couple of months ago, it’s way too early to make assumptions based on previous statistics. Risacher will get plenty of run as a rookie, and he’ll surely have some eye-popping highlights and impressive stat lines. But expect plenty of difficulties in Year 1, especially if his shooting percentages are a major drag.

3. Stephon CastleSan Antonio Spurs

Starting the day with two of the top eight draft picks, the Spurs had plenty of options at their disposal. They ended up trading away their later pick for future draft capital, but used their No. 4 pick overall to select Castle. And given that no NBA fan is in a position to really question San Antonio’s proven draft history, it makes sense to just trust that the Spurs made the right pick here. Opting for defensive versatility over shooting ability, San Antonio is focused on building an elite defense around Victor Wembanyama.

While playing different backcourt roles for San Antonio, Tre Jones and Malaki Branham combined to start 77 games for the Spurs last season, and 97 games the season prior. While the Spurs haven’t signaled that they’re ready to move on from either of these two young guards, in a perfect world, Castle will eventually make both of them expendable. As a big guard with great strength and body control, Castle knows how to play to his strengths, and he should be able to thrive both passing the ball to Wemby, and by cutting and playing off of him. Even with a shaky 3-point shot, I expect Castle to be a major part of San Antonio’s rotation right away.

4. Matas Buzelis — Chicago Bulls

If you thought I was simply going to list the top four draft picks here, think again. Once projected as a potential top three pick, Buzelis fell to Chicago at No. 11 overall, and it appears to be a great fit. Hopefully better late than never, Chicago’s misguided management team finally seems ready to embrace a rebuild. They’ve already traded away Alex Caruso, DeMar DeRozan’s exit should happen any day now, and they’ll continue to work the phones on a potential Zach LaVine trade — but most likely, no one has been answering those calls.


Buzelis is coming off a very inefficient season in the G-League, but he has a nice combination of size and skill, with a very high ceiling if he can become an above average 3-point shooter, while also bulking up to become a more versatile defender. Those things won’t happen overnight, but the Bulls can afford to just throw Buzelis into the fire and see how he responds. We’ll need to see how the rest of their offseason shakes out first but, at the very least, I’d expect to see the Chicago native playing 30+ minutes per game after the All-Star break, perhaps coming on strong at the end of the year a la GG Jackson this past season.

Instant offense rookies — Points and playmaking

1. Reed SheppardHouston Rockets

With Houston nearly making the play-in tournament last year, the Rockets already possess more talent than most of the teams who drafted in the lottery. As such, Sheppard doesn’t have a clear path to playing 28+ minutes per game as a rookie, unlike the four players mentioned above. Fred VanVleet isn’t ready to relinquish his starting point guard role just yet, Jalen Green was a beast after the All-Star break, and Amen Thompson showed lots of promise as a rookie. Houston has plenty of frontcourt talent as well, so there just aren’t a lot of minutes available when everyone is healthy.

That being said, Sheppard seems ready to contribute right away. As an elite 3-point shooter and adept ball-handler and creator, Sheppard should be very useful playing alongside Houston’s non-floor spacers in Thompson and Alperen Sengun. And from a fantasy standpoint, one should be salivating over his 3.4 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per 40 minutes last season. Be ready to pounce on Sheppard if one of Houston’s starters suffers a major injury.

2. Rob Dillingham — Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota made a huge splash on Wednesday by trading with the Spurs to land Dillingham. I was already a fan of Dillingham after watching his instant-offense highlight reels, as he conjures up Kentucky Wildcat comparisons to Tyrese Maxey and Malik Monk. But after seeing his infectious personality on display, I’m an even bigger fan.

With Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns leading Minnesota’s offensive charge, Dillingham won’t be able to step right in and start jacking up shots left and right. That will hurt his chances of competing for the ROY award, but it should help with his long-term development, as he’ll learn to play the right way under the tutelage of veteran point guard Mike Conley. And who knows, if Conley is forced to sit out more games next season due to injury, Dillingham could end up playing more minutes than expected. Either way, it shouldn’t take long for Dillingham and Edwards to become one of the most electric backcourts in the entire league.

3. Dalton KnechtLos Angeles Lakers

Last season, the Lakers ranked 24th in 3-pointers made and 28th in 3-pointers attempted. Their offense also tended to get bogged down at times under head coach Darvin Ham, but new head coach JJ Redick is surely planning to amp up their offense. With that in mind, their draft day selection of Knecht makes total sense, as he has deep range, a score-first mentality, and at 23 years old, should be able to make an impact from Day 1.

Much like Redick himself, Knecht relies on constant movement and a great feel for court spacing to get his shots off, rather than elite quickness. As such, Redick should take a liking to Knecht right away, and it won’t take long for LeBron James to develop excellent on-court chemistry with him. As far as rookie expectations go, I can see Knecht having a Cam Whitmore-type year, with the potential for more if injuries open up a path to greater opportunities.


4. Jared McCainPhiladelphia 76ers

With very few players under contract and an obvious centerpiece in Joel Embiid, the 76ers made a smart tactical decision with their selection of McCain, a guard with a stout frame, sound decision-making and excellent shooting ability. You want to surround Embiid with as much 3-point shooting as possible, and while McCain doesn’t have great length, his strength should allow him to either back up, or play alongside Tyrese Maxey for stretches.

Centers in demand — Who will be the next Dereck Lively?

1. Zach EdeyMemphis Grizzlies

From an NBA prospect perspective, there was supposed to be a huge perceived gap between Donovan Clingan and Edey, as Clingan’s skills are supposed to be more translatable to the NBA. But on Wednesday, they ended up being drafted just two picks apart, and I’m currently projecting Edey to have a more fruitful rookie campaign. Why is that? Well, Memphis doesn’t have as much competition for playing time at center, as Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke and Santi Aldama are all below average rebounders, and more natural power forwards. They also have a pretty full roster already in terms of players under contract, so Edey could very well be their man in the middle moving forward.

Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman has already touted Edey’s “special fit” with Memphis, and sure enough, we’ve seen how Ja Morant can thrive when playing with a super strong screen-setter and offensive rebounder in Steven Adams. Edey is both of those things, while also possessing a much better shooting touch. Edey to the Grizzlies seems like the perfect fit.

2. Donovan Clingan — Portland Trail Blazers

As mentioned above, Clingan’s path to major minutes isn’t quite as clear on the Blazers. Deandre Ayton is still under contract for two more seasons, Robert Williams III is looking to bounce back from injury, and Duop Reath was one of the most pleasant rookie surprises last year. So unless/until Portland is ready to trade away Ayton, Clingan will be fighting for backup minutes next season.

Still, Clingan showed us at UConn that he can be uber-productive on a per minute basis, with impressive averages of 22.3 points, 14.7 rebounds and 4.8 blocks per 40 minutes played over his two college seasons. So perhaps Clingan can still be fantasy relevant as a rookie, even if he’s only playing around 16 mpg.

3. Yves MissiNew Orleans Pelicans

Missi isn’t quite the behemoth that Edey or Clingan is, but he still has a 9’1.5” standing reach and impressive athleticism. He may also have an opportunity to play major minutes right away for the Pelicans, as their incumbent center, Jonas Valanciunas, is an unrestricted free agent. Even if Valanciunas re-signs, the Pelicans have been sorely lacking a rim protector, and that’s one of Missi’s greatest strengths. He’s a lot more raw than Lively, but Missi could still turn some heads as a rookie.

4. Kel’el WareMiami Heat

Right before the start of the NBA draft, Adebayo and the Heat agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $166 million. That sets up Bam to be the face of the franchise once Jimmy Butler’s time has come to an end, which could be very soon depending on how things shake out. In drafting Ware, Miami is hoping that they’ve found the perfect backup to Adebayo, as both Thomas Bryant and Orlando Robinson were underwhelming last year. After blocking 1.9 shots per game and converting on 17-of-40 of his 3-point attempts last year, the Heat are banking on Ware becoming a Myles Turner-type. Assuming he fits into “Heat culture,” perhaps Bam and Ware will even be starting alongside each other in a couple of years.

(Top photo of Alex Sarr: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Fantasy basketball NBA draft fallout: Alex Sarr and 11 more intriguing rookies (2024)


Where is Alex Sarr from? ›

Sarr is a 7-0, 224-pound center from Bordeaux, France. The 19-year-old most recently spent the 2023-24 season with the Perth Wildcats as part of the NBL's Next Stars program where he averaged 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17.3 minutes per game over 27 league games.

What is the NBA rookie salary? ›

NBA Draft Pick Salary
1$12.6 millionAtlanta Hawks
2$11.3 millionWashington Wizards
3$10.1 millionHouston Rockets
4$9.1 millionSan Antonio Spurs
26 more rows
3 days ago

Who is the number one draft pick in NBA 2024? ›

Hawks' Risacher focused on 'the good stuff'

The No. 1 overall pick in 2024, Zaccharie Risacher says he feels 'no pressure' to live up to high expectations.

Is Olivier Sarr related to Alex Sarr? ›

He played college basketball for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Kentucky Wildcats. He is the older brother of basketball player Alexandre Sarr.

What ethnicity is Buddy Hield? ›

Chavano Rainer Hield is the son of Jackie Swann and Richard Bryanen. He was born in 1992 in the Bahamas in the northwest town of Freeport. He has three brothers and three sisters and moved to the United States in 2010.

What is the lowest NBA player salary? ›

The minimum salary for players signing contracts in the 2023-2024 NBA season amounted to over 1.1 million U.S. dollars. This is the first time that the minimum salary has exceeded the one million dollar mark, with the minimum salary in the 2021-2022 season estimated at just over 925 thousand U.S. dollars.

How much do NBA Waterboys get paid? ›

Contrary to popular belief, waterboys in the NBA do receive compensation for their services. The average salary for NBA waterboys ranges from $53,000 to $58,000 annually, which translates to roughly $25 per hour. However, it is worth noting that this figure can vary depending on the team and its financial resources.

How much do 2nd round NBA draft picks get paid? ›

That comes out to $12.61 million in the first year for the first overall pick, $11.28 million for the second, and $10.13 million for the third—and $2.50 million for the 30th.If that contract value holds up, the first overall pick would narrowly outpace the first-year deal secured by San Antonio Spurs star Victor ...

Is Bronny James in the 2024 NBA Draft? ›

The Los Angeles Lakers selected guard Bronny James with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft held Thursday in New York. James (6'2", 210) averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 25 games (six starts) in his lone season at the University of Southern California in 2023-24.

Is Bronny James going to get drafted? ›

Bronny James is a Los Angeles Laker. With the 55th pick in Thursday's second round of the NBA draft, the Lakers selected the former USC freshman and son of all-time leading NBA scorer LeBron James.

Is the 2024 NBA Draft class weak? ›

The consensus among talent evaluators is that the 2024 NBA Draft class stands among the weakest in recent history.

What nationality is Ismaila Sarr? ›

International career

Sarr has represented his country with the Senegal U23 national team. In 2015, he played in 2015 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations. At that time, his age was only 17. He contributed that Senegal finished the competition in a fourth place, playing three games.

Where was Pape Sarr born? ›

Club career

Pape Matar Sarr made his professional debut with Génération Foot in his native country of Senegal, before signing a five-year contract with Ligue 1 side Metz on 15 September 2020.

What college did Olivier Sarr go to? ›

Who is Alexander Czar basketball player? ›

Alexandre Dam Sarr (/sɑːr/ SAR, French pronunciation: [alɛksɑ̃dʁ saʁ]; born 26 April 2005) is a French professional basketball player for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

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