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Hawks select French teen Zaccharie Risacher with first pick of NBA Draft

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The Atlanta Hawks had just a 3% chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, but luck was on their side.

Now, they have their future after selecting Zaccharie Risacher with the first pick Wednesday night.

There was no consensus top selection, so this could be a risk. Atlanta could have traded down to go a safer route, especially considering the first pick was their only one in the draft. 

But the Hawks held onto the pick despite plenty of options.

General manager Landry Fields said he fielded calls from executives interested in trading for the No. 1 pick. Fields acknowledged he had to consider offers because the Hawks had no other draft picks this year and few selections in the next few drafts.

The Hawks’ future drafts were weakened by their 2022 trade with San Antonio for Dejounte Murray. Atlanta traded 2025 and 2027 first-round picks to the Spurs and also included a 2026 pick swap in the trade.

risacher at draft

Risacher, who turned 19 in April, has been playing for the LNB, the top professional basketball league in France, and was an All-Star last season.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds last season. His father is Stéphane Risacher, who won a silver medal in the 2000 Olympics with the French team.

Risacher will be expected to join guards Trae Young and Murray and forward Jalen Johnson as foundation players for a team that has not won a playoff series since advancing to the 2021 Eastern Conference finals.

Risacher floater

It was the Hawks’ first time securing the No. 1 pick since 1975, when they drafted David Thompson, a five-time All-Star and NBA Hall of Famer. However, the Draft Lottery had not yet been established, so this year marked the first time the Hawks won it. 

Fox News’ Scott Thompson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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