Hawks: Potential No. 1 draft pick Alexandre Sarr sets lofty career goals

Projected No. 1 overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks Alexandre Sarr offered an encouraging self-evaluation.
Projected Atlanta Hawks draft pick Alexandre Sarr
Projected Atlanta Hawks draft pick Alexandre Sarr / COLIN MURTY/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks are projected to select French-born – and partially locally-bred – big man Alexandre Sarr by most outlets. 

Sarr is listed at 7-foot-1 and figures to add length and athleticism to whatever roster he ends up on. He joined Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George on the “Podcast P” podcast on May 27 and was careful not to answer questions about a preferred landing spot.

Sarr did, however, explain his playing style and what he projects for himself in the NBA.

“I was playing a more limited role,” Sarr said when asked about an underrated part of his game. “I think I'll get to showcase more of that probably in the league.

“I think [the future] looks like being part of a winning team in five years, having that established around me, hopefully, the team I get drafted in. And I will say individually, probably just winning Rookie of the Year, getting All-Star appearances, making All-NBA teams, maybe, at fifth, fourth year – three years. Who knows.”

Those are lofty goals for Sarr, who spent time in Atlanta with Overtime Elite from 2021-23.

The last Hawk to be crowned Rookie of the Year was Bob Pettit in 1955 when the franchise was in Milwaukee. 21 players have earned All-NBA honors in their rookie season in NBA history.

The last one to do it was San Antonio Spurs great and Hall of Famer Tim Duncan in 1998, and it was former teammate David Robinson before him).

Duncan also earned Rookie of the Year honors that season.

The number of players to earn All-NBA honors in their first five seasons is exponentially higher than the catch-all, which bodes well for Sarr’s chances at accomplishing his goals. But more importantly, which modern bigs is Sarr trying to emulate to reach his goals?

Potential Hawks pick Alexandre Sarr plays like Giannis Antetokounmpo, eyes Victor Wembanyama-like impact

“I like watching Giannis [Antetokounmpo], KD [Kevin Durant], AD [Anthony Davis] too. That's more of my position guys. I mean, of course, I watch guards. But at the end of the day, you can get a little moves from the guards. But I can't really go out there and do the crosses they be doing. You got to stick to to your game.

“Like if I just pick what Giannis does in transition, just the bumps into a one, two and finish strong at the rim. That's a move I think, when you're long and athletic, it can really help you.”

Sarr’s go-to move is a Giannis-like “right hand in-and-out,” keeping a spin to counter.

Of course, it took Antetokounmpo three seasons to reach his physical and All-Star potential. 

However, Sarr has sights on a more immediate impact, and he can look to a familiar counterpart in 2023 No. 1 overall pick and rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama for inspiration.

“I want to make as much impact as he did in the league,” Sarr said. “I think what he did this year, he met the expectation that were given to him, and it's – really it's fire. He makes me think about a national team two, three years from now and it's exciting.”

 Sarr showed understated confidence when asked for his elevator pitch to be the No. 1 pick.

“I would say my versatility on both sides of the court,” Sarr said. “It gives you room to play different type of schemes, and I can fit a lot of these schemes. I would just say that, probably.”