2024 NBA Mock Draft: OKC Thunder Selects Win-Now, High-Upside Talent

Can the Oklahoma City Thunder have the best of both worlds with their pick No. 12 in the NBA Draft?
Thunder general manager Sam Presti joined the Spurs in 2000.

thun
Thunder general manager Sam Presti joined the Spurs in 2000. thun / SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY
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The Oklahoma City Thunder is in quite a unique position with the No. 12 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has the opportunity to secure yet another instant contributor or the team can lean towards another long-term developmental option.

Is there a path to bringing in a high-upside talent while also getting an instant impact, though?

In Bleacher Report's recent 2024 NBA Mock Draft, the Thunder selects Tidjan Salaun -- a French forward who played for Cholet in the LNB Pro A league. At 6-foot-9, 212 pounds, Salaun is a prospect with high upside.

"Tidjane Salaun is earning workouts with top-10 teams, including the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons. The late lottery is now seen as the floor for the 18-year-old forward who made 75 total threes in 54 total games with Cholet," Bleacher Report wrote.

While the Thunder might not want to lean into another young, developmental player -- which they currently have in Ousmane Dieng -- it might be hard to pass up the potential Salaun hoists. He's a versatile player, who projects to be a solid player in just about every facet while having the potential to have great positional size.

"Though the Thunder are officially in win-now mode for a title run, Salaun started playoff games in LNB Pro A. He could be ready for a smaller role, but the same one he had with Cholet, playing to his strength as a rim-runner, finisher and spot-up shooter," Bleacher Report continued.

Evidently, Salaun played winning basketball for Cholet, and he might be able to provide a solid impact in a shortened role in Oklahoma City, should they select him. Could they get an impact from him while benefitting from his long-term development? Could he slide into the power forward slot and play winning basketball with the Thunder?

Salaun is certainly an interesting prospect for the Thunder to look into with the No. 12 pick, and it certainly doesn't seem to be that unrealistic. The team doesn't need a player to make an instant impact, but they might not want another project.


READ MORE: Will the OKC Thunder Pick Up Lindy Waters III's Option?

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Kade Kimble

KADE KIMBLE

Kade is a Strategic Communications student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He's been covering the Oklahoma City Thunder since the 2019-20 season.