Miami Heat Could Take A Gamble On Frenchman Tidjane Salaun at No. 15 In NBA Draft

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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With the 27th pick of the 2022 NBA draft, the Miami Heat went the mystery box route and selected 6-foot-10 Serbian forward Nikola Jovic. It took a little time, but they’ve since seen a promising return on that investment with his offensive profile seemingly expanding from all angles.

Should the Heat take a similar approach with the 15th pick this year, they could roll the dice on 6-9”French forward Tidjane Salaun.

The 18-year-old lands in the lottery for most mock-drafters, but since Miami selects directly after the lottery, it feels reasonable to consider him within its realistic draft range.

If the Heat could live with his inevitable growing pains, they could eventually have an interesting contributor on their hands, following the same developmental path as Jovic.

Like a freshly picked piece of produce, Salaun lacks seasoning, but there are flashes of all-purpose defending, high-level shotmaking and enough creation to think he wouldn’t depend on others to generate his scoring chances.

How patient is Miami feeling at the moment? That’s a great question. On one hand, 34-year-old Jimmy Butler isn’t getting any younger. On the other, when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski touched on the possibility of the Heat going star-searching, he said they might be in the market for someone who “connects more on the timeline of Bam Adebayo,” so perhaps they aren’t as rushed as you might think.

Salaun is a long-term investment, but if even approaches the full extend of his high-end outcome, he would be worth the wait.

Zach Buckley works as a contributing writer to Inside the Heat. He can be reached at or follow him on X @ZachBuckleyNBA.

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Zach Buckley