Yes, You cast the targeted elemental during the resolution of the ability, a time you normally can't cast anything, even instants.
It's weird, but the two different wordings would be
"You may play X"
"You may play X this (turn/phase/etc)"
The first gives you the ability to play X immediately, during the resolution of the ability. In this case, you ignore normal timing restrictions.
The second gives you the ability to play X at some point in the specified duration. However, normal timing rules would apply.
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