Are basketball fans ready for a French Revolution? With reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs already taking the league by storm, four more youngsters from France were drafted in the first round of the NBA draft.

Zaccharie Risacher and Alex Sarr expectedly headlined the event as they went number 1 and 2 to the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards, respectively. Tidjane Salaune joined in when he was picked by the Charlotte Hornets at no. 6, while Pacome Dadiet rounded it out as the 25th overall selection, made by the New York Knicks.

This is the first time that two Frenchmen went first and second overall, and also the most no. of Frenchies drafted in the first round. There were five in total as defensive guard Melvin Ajinca was selected 51st in Round 2 by the Dallas Mavericks.

Wemby let out a tweet to shoutout his fellow countrymen:


What can we expect from Risacher, Sarr, Salaun, and Dadiet?

Risacher was a top 5-8 for months before leapfrogging into no. 1 about a week into the draft. He has shooting and athleticism (think Trey Murphy III or Tobias Harris) and can play both forward positions and also the two-spot in big lineup situations. It’s an interesting pick for the Hawks as they are adding another wing shooter with DeAndre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Jalen Johnson, and Saddiq Bey.

Sarr jumped paths on his way to the pros, from opting out of an NCAA team to go to the Overtime Elite in G-League, to once again bouncing in favor of the NBL, to then passing up a workout for the Hawks and solely focus on the Wizards. While all can be deemed questionable, though, he deservingly remained to be a top talent in this class. He’s a long, rim protector (think Mitchell Robinson) with potential to expand into a stretch four or five (a la Jaren Jackson Jr.), and that alone is quite appealing.

Salaun was seen as a mid to late lottery selection, and went to his highest projected spot. He brings size and energy as a big-bodied PF, and should be in good company in Charlotte alongside facilitator LaMelo Ball, scorer Miles Bridges, potential rising scorer Brandon Miller, and a touted rookie coach in Charles Lee, who’s part of the champion Boston Celtics’ staff.

Dadiet is a raw talent at 18 years old. He’s a good athlete, and a ‘3 and D’ project player at this stage, but he may very well develop into something interesting in time, so expect this to be a “draft and stash.” It’s a strategic pick for the Knicks, who are looking to save money after taking on the big contract of Mikal Bridges and re-signing OG Anunoby to a four-year, $212.5M deal.

All in all, Team USA and the rest of the world ought to watch out for Team France in the upcoming world basketball tournaments. NBA veterans Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier, among others, just had a huge boost courtesy of Wemby’s rise, and they now have more reinforcements, all of which have NBA-level potential.