The Philadelphia 76ers acquired Dario Saric in a draft-night trade in 2014, but the Croatian stud had just signed a three-year deal with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes, so it was known it would be a few years before he’d come over to the NBA. There were some rumblings about the 21-year-old coming to Philadelphia this summer, but that didn’t happen thanks to his European contract.
“Next summer I will, probably, finally go where I want, to the biggest basketball league in the world, NBA,” Saric said. “It is imperative to do more next year with Efes and then it’s time for America. This year we tried something , but as Efes asked me to stay and said that they remain as an important player, I was forced to stay on it . Finally, I see that it makes sense to stay and improve here.”
This sounds nice now, but there’s a little issue with money. If Saric comes over next summer, he’ll still be bound by the rookie scale. If he waits until 2017, he can get a bigger contract from Philadelphia, and that’s when the cap will be up over $100 million.
We saw a situation like this play out recently with the Chicago Bulls and Nikola Mirotic. The Bulls acquired Mirotic in 2011 on draft night, but he didn’t come over until this past season because that’s when he finally wasn’t bound by the rookie scale. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Saric follow a similar path, even though he’s saying now that he wants to come over in 2016.