And-Ones: Sarr, Haslem, Rivers, Dybantsa, More

Perth Wildcats center Alexandre Sarr is turning heads with his play, showcasing a wide range of skills, including elite rim protection and rebounding, and looking like a potential No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, ESPN’s Olgun Uluc writes.

Sarr is 7’1″ with a 7’5″ wingspan, according to Uluc, and he flashed that length, along with great timing, defense in space, and the ability to knock down shots in September’s showcase between the G League Ignite and the Wildcats. Sarr put up 17 points, seven rebounds and six blocks in the first matchup between the two teams and then 26 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks and three assists in the next.

I don’t call myself a unicorn, but I think that’s something that’s important for me,” Sarr said. “To be able to do everything on the court. I’m a versatile big. I can play on ball, off ball, can shoot threes, crash the glass. Then, on defense, [I can] guard most positions, I think… I always try to make the right play, and play the game the right way.

According to Uluc, Sarr is trying to silence past criticism by showing off a high motor and is hoping to improve his overall stamina as the year goes on. In the first three games of Australia’s National Basketball League season, Sarr is averaging 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, along with shooting 71.4% from the field and 66.7% from deep. His play and maturity at 18 years old have stood out to his teammates, who are high on his potential.

There’s not like a ceiling,” teammate Jordan Usher said. “Only thing I told him was to continue to work hard and be yourself, because I’m really excited to see what NBA team gets him, because they really have a ball of clay. A true ball of clay.

Sarr came in at No. 4 on ESPN’s latest 2024 NBA mock draft.

We have more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Heat forward Udonis Haslem spent 20 straight seasons with Miami, but now he’s tackling a new line of work, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Haslem served as a guest analyst on TNT’s broadcast of Miami’s preseason game against the Spurs on Friday night. He also appeared on CBS Sports HQ as an NBA analyst earlier in October and intends to continue pursuing broadcasting work. “I have thoughts on the game, I have respect around the league, and I’m going to shoot it straight,” Haslem said. “I’ve had people tell me a lot of times that’s something I should look into. It’s just something I’m comfortable doing and I think it will be fun. I’m looking forward to the new challenge. I’ve been so comfortable for so long. This is something that really takes me out of my comfort zone.
  • After being let go by the Sixers, Doc Rivers is now an analyst at ESPN. In an interview with Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (subscriber link), Rivers takes a look back at his summer and explains why he needed a break from the sidelines after 24 straight years as an NBA head coach. “I’ve done things this summer that I had not been able to do in more than 20 years,” he said. “Traveling to Paris, spending a lot of time in the Vineyard, going to Ireland. And when you go on vacation, there’s no phone ringing. It’s been phenomenal. Clearly something I didn’t know I needed.”
  • In an Insider-only story for, Jonathan Givony shares his impressions of several high school prospects who took part in a USA Basketball junior national team mini-camp last weekend. Notably, Givony reiterates that A.J. Dybantsa, who recently reclassified to the recruiting class of 2025, looks like the early frontrunner to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2026 NBA draft.
  • Howard Beck of The Ringer poses five questions that will define the 2023/24 season, including how patient Joel Embiid will be with the Sixers, how the NBA’s new rules impacting player rest will affect the regular season, and whether or not the Heat have a blockbuster move they can make.
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