Let’s be real. The 2014 NBA Draft has been an absolute nightmare for the Philadelphia 76ers so far. Joel Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick, has yet to see the floor due to a foot injury and Dario Saric, the No. 12 overall pick, still has not come over from Europe to play a single game with his future teammates. K.J. McDaniels ended up being traded and all of the other second round selections proved to be useless, besides small forward Jeremi Grant. But don’t worry! Apparently help is on the way…
The 22-year old Croatian forward, Dario Saric, has stated recently on a number of occasions that he expects to play in the NBA next season. According to an overseas reporter named David Pick, Saric has informed his teammates that he will leave Turkey and head to the United States to play for the 76ers this summer. Personally, I remain skeptical of this whole situation because I can’t seem to wrap my head around how financially insane it would be for Saric to leave for the United States at this point in time. So I’ll believe it when I see it.
But let’s backtrack a bit. There are a number of reasons as to why it is important that Saric is coming to Philadelphia for this upcoming season and not next year. First, had Saric stayed overseas for one more year, he would no longer be held to a rookie scale NBA contract. In turn, he would have been able to negotiate a considerably larger deal with the 76ers. Second, and way more importantly, is how much the 76ers could use a player like Saric right about now. He is averaging 11.3 points and 5.8 rebounds on a very respectable European squad. And he’s doing it while only playing a measly 23 minutes per game. Standing at an undervalued 6-foot-9, he is considered to be an efficient, small-ball, play-making 4 man with the ability to spread the floor. Did I mention he is also a 37.5% 3-point shooter? Not only is that impressive, but it is crucial to the way the game is played today. Defensively, he needs work. Nevertheless as a tough young player with an extremely high ceiling, a transition from European style basketball to the NBA will only challenge and make him better in the long run.
Today is a good day for Philadelphia 76ers fans everywhere. Our luck from the 2014 NBA draft may finally be turning around. Smile and cross your fingers.