Thoughts on Tidjane Salaun in a Basketball Champions League Qualification Game
October 3rd, 2023
By Alan Lu
Recently, I decided to take the time to watch Cholet Basket’s 6-9 French forward, Tidjane Salaun play in a September 27th Basketball Champions League qualification game against Port of Antwerp, with thanks to YouTube via Basketball Champions League. He is a very athletic, energetic forward that has been getting first round draft buzz, and I wanted to take the time to assess his skills. Here are my thoughts on how he fared in this game, as well as how his skills may translate to the NBA. Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.
Cholet Basket’s 6-9 forward, Tidjane Salaun is a very athletic, energetic forward that showed his sharpshooting prowess to help lead his team to a win over Port of Antwerp on September 27th, and he has the skills to be a lottery pick in the 2024 draft.
(Photo: FIBA, via Bebasket.fr)
Tidjane Salaun is a very athletic forward that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, but he really excelled at making shots from deep in this game. He did a very good job of making open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he also showed a solid ability to run quickly off the ball to do so. He also utilized a pump fake and showed good foot work to drill a long two off the dribble from the corner, and Salaun shot the ball very well from the outside.
He also excelled at scoring off the dribble. He has a quick first step to the hoop, and he would score on strong drives to the basket. Salaun was able to score on an acrobatic, switch of hands layup in traffic while getting fouled, and he also scored on a thunderous dunk another time. Plus, he also was active in looking to score on hustle plays. Salaun was able to draw free throws on a quick back cut after running off of a screen. He also ran the floor to score on a dunk. Sometimes though, he can tend to take tough, off-balanced shots, and he missed on a contested shot in transition once after not getting the foul call that time.
Plus, he also displayed perhaps above average playmaking skills. Salaun is an unselfish playmaker that will make the extra pass to find the open man, and he would move the ball quickly to do so. He also showed that he can dribble up quickly to make drop off passes and he also can find teammates on the move to set up scoring chances for them. Plus, he is a very athletic forward that can handle the ball in the open floor. On one play though, he threw a quick bullet pass out to an open shooter in transition, but his teammate ended up stepping out of bounds that led to a turnover.
Though Salaun didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, he was able to leap up to get a pair of defensive rebounds. He also played adequate defense. Salaun was able to run in to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also would jump on loose balls to help his team get other steals. He also has solid length, quickness, and recovery speed to be able to rotate and get back in position to contest shots off the dribble to force misses. Sometimes though, he would tend to get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to be out of position, which would put his team in scramble situations. Other times, he would play too aggressively or would lose focus on the defensive end, which would lead his teammates to have to rotate to commit fouls.
Overall, Tidjane Salaun played well, as he especially excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game. He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter and defender in games, but his ability to make plays on both ends of the floor could enable him to be a solid first round prospect for the 2024 draft, and if he reaches his full potential, he could end up being a solid player in the NBA.