With the 12th pick in the 2014 NBA draft the Sixers picked Croatian native Dario Saric. With his current contract situation Saric will continue to play for Anadolu Efes of Istanbul, Turkey for possibly as long as two years while his NBA rights are assigned to the 76ers. As we all know, Saric has been making some big news over in the Euro League as Saric (20 yrs. Old) won the Euroleague’s MVP award for the month of November and became the youngest recipient of the that honor.
“It took a lot of practice and a lot of work to win such a special award as this,” Saric told Euroleague.net. “It is very important to me, I am very happy to win it. It is amazing and a part of my dream has come true.”
For the month of November Saric averaged a little over 15 points a game and shot 61% from the field. Combine that with averaging nearly 8 boards a game and you’ll find that Saric was a huge presence on the court for Anadolu Efes (Istanbul) in November. Early on this season Saric received limited minutes for Anadolu Efes and as you may have read, his over bearing father aired their unhappiness to the online Turkish basketball media. Still, when veteran Euro-Leaguer and former NBA player Nene Kristic went down for the season in early November, Saric was inserted into the starting lineup. Like a true pro, he was able to put all of the early season drama behind him, received an average of 25 minutes per night and responded with tremendous production. For a 20-year old, first time professional basketball player, that’s an impressive start to a Euro-career.
However, there are sure to be some bumps in the development road for the Croatian youngster. Take for instance Saric’s last game where his performance was not exactly MVP-ish. In Anadolu Efes’ recent win over Zalgiris Kaunas Saric played nearly 30 minutes, but scored only 4 points on 2-10 shooting from the field (0-3 from deep). According to the game notes posted online Saric had 3 of his shot attempts blocked, but he did grab 8 rebounds in the contest. Also of note from this game was that former 76er James Anderson scored 18 points for Zalgiris Kaunas.
On December 12th, Saric rebounded somewhat by registering 11 points on 4-7 shooting from the field and grabbing 7 rebounds in Anadolu Efes 65-61 loss to Nizhny Novgorod. However a ghastly 0-5 shooting performance from three and 50% from the FT line (3-6) put a bit of a damper on Saric’s outing. On December 18th vs. Real Madrid Saric posted a more efficient 11 points on 2 of 4 shooting from the field and 2 of 6 from three. Saric filled out his stat sheet aginst Real madrid with 8 dimes and 5 boards. Efes still lost the game 90-70.
Despite the recent shooting woes, Philadunkia nation should be watering at the mouth with the overall news that the 6’10” forward is showing significant promise. If Sam Hinkie’s mindset really is putting off winning for a couple of years in order to stack young talent for the future, I would say it looks promising in the case of Saric. Saric would only be 22 years old when his obligations in Europe end and he is eligible to come to the States and join the 76ers.
In an interview with EuroHoops.net Brown was asked how long do you think Dario Saric needs to become an NBA player? Brown responded, “I think he can play now! I think that in Philadelphia we are about development and about opportunity. He would look around and see a lot of fellow young players that just want a chance to play. Our whole emphasis in Philadelphia is about development and helping our players. We are trying to be as good as we can be in sport science and growing up players physically and from a skill perceptive. He is another one of our young lottery picks that we hope to grow the program with”.
So, what does all of this mean to Philadunkia nation? It simply means help is on the way! Saric would bring a sense of stability to the Sixers roster at the three or four spot. Saric’s outside scoring possibilities along with his midrange shooting abilities would help relieve some pressure on the Sixers current perimeter players. I think a Sixers roster that boasts key assets such as MCW, Noel, a healthy Embiid, and a 2015 Lottery Pick; as well as potential role players such as Sims, Wroten and dare I say Covington, will look even better when Saric finally takes the court in Philadunkia nation.
Tyler Cook is a scrive for Philadunkia. You can follo whime on Twitter @ .
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