Welcome Tidjane Salaun: The French Connection Part 8

Massive, massive upside swing here. For a draft very weak on the high end, there were a lot of good role players available. I think at minimum, Salaun can also be a high energy, 3&D, stretch 4 role player.

But with his toolset (6’10 in shoes, 7’1 wingspan, high motor, great cutter, nice anticipation, a decent, functional 3 point shot that doesn’t have to be reconstructed), he has a much higher upside than the non-shooting wings, or non-defensive shooters, or the good shooting and defending but severely short guys.

So with that context, if you’re gonna take a big risk on a potential project, here’s as low a risk you can take for a high risk. At least that makes sense in my head.

I’m assuming he’s gonna be mostly Swarming in Greensboro this year. I think thats ideal for his development - work on his strength, get used to the speed, get more reps to understand the game better, hone in on shooting.

I liked Knecht, Buzelis, Carter, and Williams, but maybe they feel his physical tools, if he actually pops, will create a higher upside than the other guys. Secondarily, they lose their draft pick in the highly regarded 2025 lottery next year if they sneak into the playoffs, so maybe long term, getting a work in progress and a shot at Flagg/Bailey/other star is better worth it then the mid tier prospects of 2024.

Either way, I’ll trust the new brain trust until I can’t trust them anymore. I like the risk for a unicorn type player, but will always have the what ifs if one of those potential names takes off and becomes a budding star.

From the Ringer Draft Page

Aaron Gordon, Chandler Parsons

  • Off-Ball Defensebadge

Off-Ball Defense

  • Positional Versatilitybadge

Positional Versatility

  • Hustlebadge



  • Locked-in defender who is a nuisance off the ball, digging in to help on drivers and using his long arms to poke at the ball. He’s always contesting shots at the rim, playing with his arms up in the passing lanes, and fighting through screens. With his length, quickness, and mindset, he has the traits to be a versatile defender who can switch across most perimeter positions.
  • Experiencing the best season of his career shooting 3s. He constantly moves behind the arc to get himself open and shows an eagerness to call for the ball. He gets his feet set quickly, and has a high, smooth release. If his shot is for real, his size could make him a major weapon.
  • Athletic finisher who makes himself available for lobs at the rim by running hard on the break and staying active within the flow of the offense.
  • Always looking for chances to cut to the rim and set screens, both on the ball and off the ball. He will be at his best if drafted by a team that utilizes lots of motion. And even though he needs to improve his decision-making, he shows a real desire to pass the ball.
  • If the flashes of shot creation turn into real results, he will lock himself in as a top pick. He has some nasty moves, but his off-the-dribble game remains a bit clunky at this point.


  • Needs to become a more fundamental on-ball defender to reach his full potential. He falls out of position and gets crossed up way too often.
  • Lacks shooting ability off the dribble. His handle is loose. He often looks the part, generating space with side-steps and stepbacks, but he often misses horribly with bricks off the backboard.
  • Until this year, he’s never been a good shooter. And there are some worrisome trends that his touch isn’t what it seems: He lacks a reliable floater, struggles to convert touch layups, and still shoots only about 70 percent from the line.
  • Sloppy passer who regularly throws the ball straight to defenders. He also has a tendency to rush simple plays and misread opponents.
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You know what I’m in, French Giannis here we come

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I don’t want to see this. Let me be excited for French Gianis please. lol

That said. I was surprised by the pick and I thought better options were better at 6. I wish we could have traded back to get him. But, the more I think about it… it’s high risk, huge reward. And that’s ok with a draft like this.

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To complete the picture, I’d love to know about the trade back discussions we were reportedly having.

Clearly, we couldn’t tempt Portland to step up one spot to stop us trading Clingan to the Grizzlies. And, the offer from the Grizzlies wasn’t considered enough to risk losing Salaun to the Spurs at 8. That’s where my reservation lies, it’s Tidjane vs 9 & assets.

In isolation, it’s hard not to like his upside and work ethic, but it’s not a one to one question for me.

Great post! I think you’re onto something re. the strength of the 2025 draft and the lottery protection of our pick. We’ll know more by how free agency plays out.

On the face of it, it makes sense to give Coach the season to find out what he has on the roster, and who he wants to keep. Get that accomplished before committing too much by way of future cap.

Long time no see but a french draft pick is worth a post :wink:

I admit i have not studied this draft and I have no opinion about 6th position. But from what I read about him since being drafted to the hornets, I just think he’s not that raw and a long term project to have a contribution.

Yes he’s very young and it’s unclear how good he can become, but if you compare him to Bilal Coulibaly last year, he was already a strong contributor to his team this year. He is different from Risacher in terms of style but he was, like him, having an important role in the team and averaging a solid 10pts/game. He was really close to Risacher in terms of overall production in french top league and has a bigger body. He was notably honored best player of the month in january (but I guess you guys already know that)

In short, I don’t see him in the rookie of the year conversation at all, but ready to play from the start solid minutes in a team with established playmakers: definitvely yes !


If he’s rotation ready post all star break, I’ll be happy. And when I say rotation ready, I simply mean playable, as in knows his assignments on both sides of the ball and allows the systems to function.

That way we can say goodbye to Miles, hopefully he brings back something positive via sign-and-trade, start Grant, and have Poku backing him up, while we work out a trade for Bertans partially guaranteed contract.

Was not expecting that pick at all but quick takes are:

  1. Has the potential to be a beast and seems to have the intangibles to get there.
  2. At worst, he’s a pesky 4 that creates some chaos (good and bad) while hitting the occasional 3.
  3. Hornets are clearly not as concerned about winning next season and much more focused on establishing a culture of playing hard and competing. He appears to embody that role with a bit more moxie than some of our more recent picks.
  4. Makes me think there are much more questions about what we have on our roster (outside Miller) than maybe what we’ve thought. If he’s three years away, this would lineup with either peak or soon to be post-Ball Hornets team if the organization decided to go in a different direction while still acquiring another one or two young players through draft along the way. Assuming Ball gets healthy and becomes the player we want him to be, this may line up nicely for us to be a very good team.

Not what I expected but this draft was so weird, that it doesn’t surprise me either. If even in his raw state you think he’s not that far away if a contributor as those selected around him but has the much higher upside, guess it makes sense.

As always, I’m ready to believe.


Welcome Salaum!

I’m fine with the swing, if in any draft this was definitely the one to do it.

I’ve seen comparisons to Kai. It’s way too early for me on that but I will say if Kai wasn’t a total dumbass and had just average BBIQ he could have been a beast.

I’m in on this new organization until they force me not to be.


To me, this was a fun pick and a fun draft. I have no idea what Tidjane can be but I love the reach in a draft of "hrm, maybe"s. And the talk about his everlast motor, plus his frame/body type, and length has me a bit excited. If he can be a 3&D forward in time, I think this is going to be a really good pairing w/ Mark, Miller, and Melo.

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From Vecinie top section

From Hollinger on the tail

Salaun will probably spend two years in the g league. I doubt he’ll crack the rotation (if he actually develops and pans out) until 2026. Even late 2026, or 2027 his third season.

As usual consistently straightforward and well conceived.

Yeah the obvious plan is to give this kid time to develop out of the spot light and he feels a critical need for us. We have the time and we clearly have a workable plan.

Now the question is what do we do w our second round pick now that we have our PF of the future? I would go for shooting or defense. I don’t think that both in one kid is available.

Do we trade up for Kyle out of Duke?

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Cool to hear how high Vecine is on him and the pick. Said it was a forgone reality that any team that wanted him had to jump SAS at 8. Said both we and POR were in on Salaun (and obviously SAS). Thinks he’s a homerun swing, and we wouldn’t have had any guarantees to get him if trading back anywhere, though he personally would have traded back for lower values than he assumes DET and CLT needed.

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I think most of the relative negativity towards the pick, from various press sources, is down to the fact the Hornets drafted him. The Spurs would have been lauded for picking him at 8 in a very flat draft.

I’d be looking for a more experienced, two-way wing with position appropriate size/length. Your typical off-ball, 3&D. We don’t have much size on the Wing, so that would be my preference. Pelle Larson is very intriguing and mostly fits the archetype I’d be looking for. More than a bit of Cody Martin in his play style. Harrison Ingram would be a good pick, and help with length on the wing, rebounding and point forward skills.

That said, I like the potential of Justin Edwards. I can see him developing into a rotation player, with the requisite size and defensive effort. Tyler Smith would signal, loud and clear, that we’re going for prototypical size and developmental players. It would be funny to watch Chef and Eastley explode if we pick Filipowksi.


I don’t even care about roster “fit” or “need” or whatever. If Jamal Shead is there I hope he’s the pick. He fits the mold of the exact type of guy that’s been a late steal as of late. I have a ton of confidence he can be a great guard off the bench who can efficiently run an offense, give you a ton of effort and play standout defense.

I would be more than ok with Filipowski in the 2nd round. I would have not been ok with him anywhere near #20 or better.

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