Washington Wizards take French 7-footer Alex Sarr with the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft

WASHINGTON — The Washington Wizards drafted French 7-footer Alex Sarr with the second pick in the NBA draft Wednesday night, using their highest selection in 14 years to add some much-needed size to a team that won only 15 games last season.

Sarr played last season for the Perth Wildcats in Australia. He also spent two years in the U.S. with Overtime Elite, a developmental league.

The Wizards are a year removed from a front office overhaul and an offseason in which they traded Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis. Their struggles last season — they set a franchise record for losses — were fairly predictable, and it’s not clear how much anyone in this draft can accelerate their rebuild.

Washington hasn’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs since 1979, and this is only the third time since then the franchise has picked in the top two of the draft. The Wizards used an ill-fated No. 1 overall pick on Kwame Brown in 2001. In 2010, they used the top pick on John Wall, ushering in an era of mild success that eventually ran its course.

The last time the team picked No. 2 it worked out beautifully — Wes Unseld, taken second in 1968, eventually led the organization to a championship.

Not only did the Wizards trade Porzingis, but they also dealt Daniel Gafford during the 2023-24 season, leaving a significant need for size. But more than that, Washington just needs any young star it can potentially build around.

Twenty years to the day after Washington’s NHL team drafted another Alex — Russian star Ovechkin — the Wizards can only hope Sarr will have a similar impact.

Atlanta had the No. 1 pick Wednesday and took French teen Zaccharie Risacher.


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