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Spurs Linked to Under-the-Radar Draft Prospect at No. 8

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich

With two top-10 picks in the 2024 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs are holding their cards close to the vest.

Perhaps the Spurs are looking to make a splash. Using the No. 4 and No. 8 picks, they could try to move up in the draft or acquire a star player. To that point, the Atlanta Hawks have the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft. They may be convinced to move off of it in the right deal. With regard to a blockbuster trade, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland is now being connected to the Spurs.

However, if San Antonio keeps either one or both of their top-10 picks, one under-the-radar prospect is being singled out as a potential franchise fixture.

Spurs Linked to Tidjane Salaun

“After talking with numerous NBA teams about (Tidjane) Salaun this week, it seems he’s much closer to being a top-10 pick than the late lottery candidate he is currently ranked…” reports ESPN’s NBA insiders.

“Several teams are flagging the San Antonio Spurs at No. 8 as a real landing potential spot for Salaun,” they add. “The French connections with Victor Wembanyama are obvious… The two share an agent and know each other dating back to 2017…”

Salaun plays for LNB Pro A’s Cholet Basket. In 2023-24,  he averaged 9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game . Those numbers look better when considering that he averages 15.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per 36 minutes. Furthermore, Salaun is coming off of a career game in which he posted 19 points, eight rebounds, and three assists against Paris.

Between his age, size, hustle, and two-way upside, Salaun is an intriguing prospect. Nonetheless, the primary reason that the Spurs would draft is face of the franchise, Victor Wembanyama. San Antonio is rumored to be asking for his input so that they can build around him correctly.

If true, Salaun may be his countryman’s personal pick. Indeed, it was only four months ago when Wembanyama told ESPN’s Andrew Lopez that Salaun’s “work ethic and will to get better are just up there… I can trust this guy to get better and to work out like crazy.”

With praise like that, it only makes sense that the Spurs would vet the French forward.

Does He Fit the Spurs’ Needs?

That said, there’s reason to believe Salaun won’t be the Spurs pick.

This season, he’s only made 40.5 percent of his field goals and 32.0 percent of his 3-point attempts. Both are career-lows, so San Antonio may be able to look past it. However, given the stretch-forward role he’d likely play with the Spurs, it’s a cause for concern.

In 2023-24, San Antonio ranked 11th in average 3-point attempts (36.4) but 28th in 3-point percentage (.347). They clearly want to get up a lot of shots from beyond the arc but are inefficient in this area. That’s one of the main reasons that their offensive rating (110.0) ranked 26th in the NBA. Salaun might make that problem worse.


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