2024 NBA Draft scouting report: Alex Sarr

Alex Sarr has emerged as one of the strongest No. 1 pick candidates through the NBL Next Stars program.
Alex Sarr, Perth Wildcats
Alex Sarr, Perth Wildcats / Paul Kane/GettyImages

Basketball is becoming an increasingly global sport, which is reflected by the 2024 NBA Draft class. Several projected lottery picks hail from outside the United States, including French 7-footer Alex Sarr (brother of OKC center Olivier Sarr). A recent product of Atlanta's Overtime Elite league, Sarr joined the NBL's Perth Wildcats for the 2023-24 season.

Australia continues to build its prospect pool. Several future NBAers currently occupy the NBL, and that number will only increase in the years to come as the Next Stars program takes off. There isn't a better place for Sarr to test his mettle. The NBL is notoriously physical. Sarr doesn't have the luxury of a long leash, but he is contributing both ways for a contender.

It's becoming more and more apparent to NBA teams that production in pro leagues across the world is valuable. It's easy to fall victim to the false notion that college basketball is "more meaningful" than playing in EuroLeauge or the NBL, but it's just that — false. It's difficult for teenagers to manage the toughness and discipline of grown men in salaried leagues. Those who do stand out deserve special commendation.

Sarr is slated to miss 2-3 weeks with a minor hip strain, but he was on the upswing before the injury and that should carry over into the final months of the season. As of this writing, Sarr is averaging 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks on .508/.295/.610 splits in 17.8 minutes for the Perth Wildcats.

Alex Sarr NBA Draft bio

Height: 7-foot-1
Weight: 217 pounds
Birthdate: April 26, 2005
Position: Power Forward/Center
Offensive Role: Rim-runner (and potential floor-spacer)
Defensive Role: Switchable big, rim protector
Projected Draft Range: 1-8

NBA Draft highlights


Generally, No. 1 pick honors go to a prospect with elite physical tools. Victor Wembanyama, Zion Williamson, Ben Simmons, Anthony Edwards — all possessed outlier athletic traits. By that measure, Alex Sarr is probably the closest to a traditional No. 1 pick in the 2024 class. At 7-foot-1, he is equipped with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and elite lateral mobility, which forms an impressive foundation on defense.

Sarr's rim protection will be his calling card at the next level. While there is tons of theoretical upside with Sarr, his floor as a prospect is rooted in his ability to swat shots and deter drives to the rim. Sarr covers a ton of ground on the defensive end, constantly rotating from the help side to devour unsuspecting scorers. NBA teams will be able to slot Sarr at the four or the five. He's comfortable out on the perimeter, where his length and foot speed are remarkably effective against wings and even guards. Or, Sarr can man the middle, operate in drop coverage, and use that wingspan to wall off the restricted area.

Most teams will probably peg Sarr as a power forward, at least in the early going, due to his thin frame. That doesn't take away from his unique malleability and the upside tied to strength development at the next level.

On offense, Sarr will operate most comfortably as a rim-runner and vertical outlet for a good NBA point guard. He has a ton of bounce around the rim, which should translate to offensive rebounds and tons of easy finishes over time.

What will put Sarr on the No. 1 pick radar, however, are the flashes of creation. He's comfortable putting the ball on the deck in transition. Sarr has made 13 of 44 attempts from 3-point range in 18 NBL games to date. That is a healthy 4.9 attempts per 36 minutes. The efficiency will need to improve, but Sarr has immense upside as a trailer or pick-and-pop threat. That upside is elevated by Sarr's coordination and skill as a driver. He's comfortable navigating tight spaces moving downhill and he's often seen pirouetting into pull-up jumpers. NBA teams will clock the unicorn traits.


Sarr might have the highest ceiling in the 2024 NBA Draft, but there is notable downside risk, too. It starts with his feel on offense. Sarr struggles with physicality, which is most glaring in his offensive approach. Rather than driving all the way to the basket, Sarr often settles for difficult contested jumpers. He is hitting his pull-ups at a high rate, to his credit, but Sarr averages more turnovers (1.1) than assists and he doesn't have the tightest handle. A lot of his perceived offensive upside is more hypothetical than practical at this stage. He needs to play a more efficient style.

So far, Sarr is shooting 29.5 percent from deep in the NBL. If defenses at the next level don't respect his 3-point stroke, that will only exacerbate the aforementioned issues. Sarr might have trouble finding clean lanes to the basket and avoiding a packed paint. He would benefit from a slow-burn development in the NBA, perhaps focusing on simple finishes around the rim. Sarr would also benefit tremendously from a strong playmaking apparatus around him. A lot of his success will be contingent on coaching and team context.

On defense, Sarr can get bullied off his spot on occasion. He flies around for blocks and eagerly defends the point of attack, but there are still moments where Sarr's unwillingness to absorb contact hinders him. The NBL is a physical league. It's a good proving ground, but the NBA is a whole different ball game. That tracks in the rebounding column, too. Sarr is liable to get boxed out.

Final summary

It's fair to be concerned about how all the pieces in the Alex Sarr puzzle box fit together, but in a draft class deprived of bankable top-end talent, Alex Sarr is going to receive extensive consideration due to the volume of pieces. He needs the right team and the right coach, but 7-footers don't often move like Sarr. He has the potential to anchor a defense while developing into a strong complementary scorer.

If paired with a quality point guard, Sarr should be able to come along slowly on offense. He needs to pick his spots as a driver and self-creator, but those flashes merit investment. If he can develop into a reliable 3-point shooter who gets downhill, collapses the defense, and makes solid decisions with the ball — on top of the defense — then Sarr is going to quickly ascend the NBA star ladder.

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