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Charlotte Hornets select France’s Tidjane Salaun with No. 6 overall pick in NBA Draft

Tidjane Salaun poses for photos with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected in Wednesday’s first round by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2024 NBA Draft at Barclays Center in New York.

A touch of France is headed to Charlotte.

In what seems like an annual June ritual, the Hornets added another young player to their roster, taking Frenchman Tidjane Salaun with the sixth overall selection in the NBA Draft on Wednesday night in New York.

Salaun, 18, is a power forward who most recently played for Cholet Basket in France. He stands at 6-foot-9 and has a 7-2 wingspan, and is said to have a good shot that still needs some polishing. He averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds for Cholet in 2023-24, and became the third player from his country taken among the initial half dozen selections.

Atlanta selected Zaccharie Risacher No. 1 overall and Washington picked Alex Sarr second.

Salaun said he worked out once for the Hornets and wasn’t overly surprised he ended up with the same organization that another Frenchman suited up for in 2018-19: Tony Parker. He knew it was a real possibility.

“I expected it a little bit because the coach was honest with me,” Salaun said. “I feel a trust relationship with them and now I’m with the Hornets..”

Passing is also one of Salaun’s strong suits. The ball doesn’t stick when it’s in his hands. He is adept at keeping it moving, which assists in making the right play. He said he believes one of his strengths is his motor and thinks he can help the Hornets in several areas.

“I shoot the three when I’m open every time and bring my help defense for multiple positions,” Salaun said on a Zoom call from New York. “And, for sure, bring all the energy for my teammates and the coach and crowd.”

Apparently, Salaun has a ways to go before he’s well-known. ESPN introduced him on the draft broadcast as former University of Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht prior to commissioner Adam Silver starting the clock. Salaun won’t be complaining

“I’m very happy and I was glad to be here,” Salaun said. “And now I’m ready to work.”

This story will be updated.