8. Atlanta Hawks take Tidjane Salaun
The Hawks are rumored to be deadline sellers in the middle of their disappointing season. They want to build around Trae Young and Jalen Johnson, which means they will need size and defense.
Salaun continues to climb draft boards with his outstanding play for Cholet Basket in the French League. The 18-year-old is averaging 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 21.4 minutes per game. He has made 36 of his 95 3-point attempts after shooting over 36 percent from long range last season. Every NBA team wants a 6’10 forward capable of making triples and defending multiple positions.
Salaun is one of the youngest players in this class and his continued improvement could make him a top-five pick by June’s draft. He must expand his offensive game beyond his shooting, but there is plenty to get excited about. Salaun must improve his ball-handling, scoring, and playmaking to become a star, but he should be a quality 3-and-D wing who makes an impact for a decade-plus.
The Hawks are 27th in defensive rating and would have phenomenal size and length with Salaun and Johnson occupying the forward spots. This is a strong fit, but the 18-year-old may not last this long, especially if he continues his outstanding play in the French League.