If you thought France was done producing top-tier NBA Draft prospects, think again. 19-year-old Zaccharie Risacher is a talented forward poised to make an immediate impact, and he has the potential to become one of the league’s next international success stories.

Zaccharie Risacher 2024 NBA Draft Profile

International Career

Risacher’s pre-draft career began by representing France in the FIBA U16 European Challengers, where he averaged 10.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He continued playing on the youth national teams in the World Cup, where he put up an average of 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds for the U19 squad.

Risacher then went on to play in the LNB Pro A League—the same one that produced rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama. Across three seasons, he put up seven points and 2.7 rebounds per game on .406/.322/.719 splits. He is currently leading JL Bourg in the EuroCup tournament, boasting a blistering 13.1 points per game while shooting 56% from the field, 56% from three and 66% from the stripe.

Upon declaring for the draft, Risacher reflected on his goals prior to the season and how they’ve changed heading into his next chapter:

My goal at the beginning of the season was to get drafted as high as possible, like any competitor. But I won’t be angry or disappointed if I’m not No. 1 or No. 2. I want to be the best, but I also want to achieve my dreams. I know the NBA draft is not the end, it’s just the beginning. That’s why I pay less attention to being the highest pick.

The young wing has a variety of tools that will make him a special asset for any team.

Strengths

At 6-foot-9, Risacher is a skilled two-way forward who can find the bottom of the net from anywhere. His frame allows him to get to the basket with ease, whether it’s through a variety of moves or sprinting on a fast break. His willingness to not shy away from contact helps greatly with his finishing. Risacher is also a marksman from the perimeter, hitting off of screens, stepbacks, or spot-ups.

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Defensively, Risacher’s presence is an immediate deterrent for opponents, as he can reject shots with ease and holds his own on the perimeter. He’s often succeeded defending guards thanks to his agility and 6-foot-10 wingspan, and The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has described him as a “two-through-four defender.”

Another bonus for Risacher is his playmaking. He has only averaged 0.8 assists per game throughout his career, but his basketball IQ is impressive for a 19-year-old wing. He has a knack for finding teammates on drives and fast breaks, and it’s a skill he’ll grow comfortable with as his NBA career begins.

Weaknesses

Despite his talent and potential, there are some areas Risacher needs to improve on between now and June 26. The main issue is tightening up his handles and shot creation, as most of his misses have come either from stepbacks or lack of adjustments at the rim. His career average of 1.1 turnovers (compared to the aforementioned 0.8 assists) is another concern. Risacher must improve on taking care of the ball while getting his teammates more involved than the occasional dime a game.

NBA Comparison

Risacher’s “3-and-D” skill set reminds of Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. or Nets wing Cam Johnson. Both of them are taller wings who can knock down triples with ease, much like Risacher, and their frames have allowed them to thrive defensively. Also similar is their lack of playmaking to begin their careers, a mold that Risacher could break when he enters the league.

2024 NBA Draft Projection

Top pick in the 2024 draft.

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