Tidjane Salaun is a Top Pick Worth Swinging on in the 2024 NBA Draft

The 2024 NBA Draft lacks consensus but Tidjane Salaun should quickly climb the ranks as a player worth taking a chance one.
Tidjane Salaun.jpg
Tidjane Salaun.jpg / FIBA.com

The 2024 NBA Draft doesn't have a ton of consensus or star power. This could lead teams to take a massive swing at the top of the draft. That uncertainty at the top could benefit French phenom Tidjane Salaun the most.

The 6-foot-9 203-pound wing with a 7-foot-1 wingspan provides the best of both worlds for NBA teams. An 18-year-old with plenty of room to grow and polish his game while still having a baseline skillset to get him on the floor right out of the gate.

Salaun provides a spark as an off-ball play-finisher with savvy cuts that include little wasted movement, the explosiveness to jump out of the gym to throw down lobs and the potential to be used in the dunker spot or as a pick-and-roll partner.

Couple that with his length and size attributing to him being a versatile defender who shows flashes of All-Defensive upside, funnels action to his help, and can take on nearly any assignment and you can quickly envision Salaun playing early and often.

Even if all he did was refine those skills, the youngster would be worth a high-lottery selection. However, there are still parts of his game that need to be overhauled or given more developmental attention.

His 31 percent shooting from beyond the arc on 34 percent on catch-and-shoot looks (including 38 percent on unguarded chances) shows that shooting upside to be a premier 3-and-D contributor which every contender needs with just some minor tweaks to his relatively smooth jumper.

Along with that shooting potential, Salaun has not shown an ability to be an on-ball threat. If a team is willing to work with him on scoring off the dribble or even just simply becoming a better connective playmaker, it could take his game to the next step.

While there is little to be encouraged about in this regard from what he has put on film, it is not out of the realm of possibility for an 18-year-old to develop.

When you turn in the draft guard for Salaun you are getting a player whose baseline should be a quality rotational piece and a fire-y competitive player that seems to be someone you can count on putting in the necessary work to improve.

In a draft with such uncertainty, Salaun's baseline and potential are worth banking on this June.


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Published
Rylan Stiles

RYLAN STILES

Rylan Stiles is a credentialed media member covering the Oklahoma City Thunder. He hosts the Locked On Thunder Podcast, and is lead beat writer for Inside the Thunder. Rylan is also an award-winning play-by-play broadcaster for the Oklahoma Sports Network.