Hawks' Zaccharie Risacher name-drops 4-time champion as NBA comparison

Atlanta Hawks rookie and No. 1 overall pick Zaccharie Risacher offered a lofty comparison for himself at the next level.
Atlanta Hawks forward Zaccharie Risacher
Atlanta Hawks forward Zaccharie Risacher / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

If Zaccharie Risacher is right, Atlanta Hawks fans are going to be very happy.

The rookie enters the league amid questions about his NBA ceiling after a late surge to secure his position as the top prospect in the Hawks’ eyes. He has repeatedly said he will do whatever the team needs him to.

But Risacher had much loftier goals when discussing which NBA players he would compare himself to.

“Zaccharie Risacher is talking to the Atlanta media via Zoom right now,” “Locked On Hawks” host Brad Rowland posted on X on June 26. “Asked by @HawksBeat about who he is similar to in the NBA, he referenced Klay Thompson.”

Thompson was the No. 11 overall pick in 2011, but he has carved out a Hall-of-Fame career as part of one of if not the greatest shooting backcourt the NBA has ever seen.

More importantly, Thompson has helped the Golden State Warriors win four championships.

While his future has been discussed publicly for some time, often to Thompson’s chagrin, he did agree to a move to the bench this past season. He eventually found his way back into the starting lineup to end the season.

At his peak, though, Thompson averaged 20-plus points in five straight seasons only interrupted by a series of knee injuries in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

He was also one of the game’s top perimeter defenders in his prime.

Thompson used to be able to guard 1-through-3 on the court. He has transitioned into more of a 2-through-5 option in recent years, which underscores the tremendous versatility he has provided.

If the Hawks can get the ability they will be happy. If that ability also leads to similar team success, even better.

Hawks looking to recapture 2021 magic?

Notably, the Hawks hired Onsi Saleh away from the Warriors this offseason.

He will fill the role of co-assistant general manager with Kyle Korver. The Hawks’ group with the most successful run of the last few seasons was also notably built by former Warriors executive, Travis Schlenk.

Schlenk stepped down from the Hawks in December 2022 and has since joined the Washington Wizards.

Perhaps these moves are an attempt to right a ship that seemed to be trending upward in 2021.

Three years and two first-round playoff exits later and the Hawks sit on the brink of another rebuild judging from reports this offseason. While their official stance has left all options on the table, they have yet to do anything that would signal a complete teardown.

To that end, Risacher fits in with the current core and could even develop into a premier player in years to come.