Former Kansas Jayhawks star mocks Hawks top draft pick Zaccharie Risacher

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 04 Kansas at Oklahoma State

Despite 7-foot-1 Alex Sarr being the initial favorite to go first overall to the Hawks, Zaccharie Risacher was who most NBA Draft pundits believed would land in Atlanta, in part, because of Sarr’s unwillingness to even meet with the Hawks before draft night.

Landry Fields said after the draft that Sarr and his camp’s views of the organization did not deter the Hawks from picking him. They went with the best player available, who they believed to be Zaccharie Risacher. We’ll never truly know if that is true; Fields is going to give that spiel no matter what, but it really doesn’t matter. The Hawks front office will be judged on how Risacher performs compared to Sarr. Everything else before they step on the floor is just noise.

Whether they like it or not, Risacher and Sarr — two French players — will be linked together for their entire careers. Especially by Hawks fans, much like Luka Doncic and Trae Young have been since the infamous draft night trade six years ago. The hope is that the Hawks did not get the short end of the stick this time around, but if you ask former Kansas Jayhawks star point guard Frank Mason III, Zaccharie Risacher had no business being the #1 overall pick.

Before I say anything else, this is unbelievably lame on Frank Mason’s part. He’s a 30-year-old man taking shots at a 19-year-old kid on the night of his life that he probably spent 5-10 minutes on the floor with when Zaccharie Risacher was 17-18 years old. Jealous much, Frank?

With that being said, the expectations for Risacher need to be tempered. He’s the #1 overall pick, but  it can’t be emphasized enough how terrible this draft class is. I mean, did you watch the draft last night? Unless you are a basketball connoisseur, you probably had never even heard of most of the names that walked across that stage and shook Adam Silver’s hand.

Finding a competent starter, even when picking first overall, isn’t a guarantee. If Zaccharie Risacher can end up being a staple on the wing that can give the Hawks good defense and shoot around a 40% clip from deep, it should be viewed as a win.

Photo: William Purnell/Icon Sportswire

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