There is no lack of French star power in the NBA, and it seems as though once again France will find themselves having another star join the NBA. Zaccharie Risacher was born in 2005 and is a potential top three pick in the NBA’s 2024 draft.
Risacher has established himself over the last two years in a variety of competitions, including a successful showing in France’s bronze-medal winning campaign at the FIBA U17 World Cup this past summer. There, he displayed his diversity and two-way influence while averaging nearly 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game on an effective basis while averaging 66.4% from the floor.
Risacher was given consistent playing time with the senior team by ASVEL, even in a Euroleague matchup versus Baskonia, despite being an initial standout in the French Espoirs U21 league while competing four years his elder. With a 2-for-5 field goal percentage, five points, six rebounds, and one assist in just 21 minutes of action, Risacher performed admirably.
As a 6-foot-8 player with lengthy arms who can impact play from both sides of the court, Risacher makes excellent use of his talents. His combo of height, length, and standing range enable him to challenge shots, score at the rim, and rebound the ball. Risacher is long and broad like a forward, yet he plays more like a wing since he is quick, coordinated, and surprisingly fluid for someone his stature. With Risacher being so young, he still has enough time to fix his thin frame. Though that is something that tends to make him matchup much better versus perimeter players rather than it is against true centers.
He also has a keen sense of awareness whenever he’s close to the rim. This allows him to rotate for blocks, defensive rebounds, and simply to be a destructive presence in the paint. In the perimeter, he performs best when he maintains a lead over adversaries. He does this by using his height and lateral movement to suffocate shorter ball-handlers and to maintain a lead over drives on route to the basket.
Before becoming draft eligible, Risacher still has almost two full seasons to go, but he has already displayed some fascinating traits that might make him a lottery choice in 2024. If he keeps shooting the ball at his present rate, he will be a reasonably high-floor 3-and-D prospect with the ability to sprinkle in some slashing in closeouts situations.
Risacher’s potential may only be limited by his ability to improve as an on-ball creator. If he makes the transition and learns to constantly create drives against a predetermined defense, a team is going to get themselves a multi-level scoring wing who can also defend various positions, which is immensely beneficial at the NBA level.