Dario Saric Not Coming Over This Season
We’re only three days away from the 2015 NBA draft and the news, rumors, and propaganda are now in full swing. Here are some of the news items that came out over the weekend.
•Dario Saric will not be coming off for the 2014-15 NBA season, per Chad Ford of ESPN. Saric signed a three year contract with Anadolu Efes prior to the 2014 draft which included a buyout after the 2nd season. The Sixers were reportedly trying to speed this process up, hoping to negotiate with Efes on a buyout a year early. The real concern is now that Saric could stay over in Turkey for an additional 2 seasons, thus avoiding the rookie scale entirely.
Dario Saric’s team, Anadolu Efes, lost in the Turkish League finals in 5 games to Karsiyaka. Saric averaged 9.2 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists per game in just over 26 minutes per night in the finals, although he shot just 39.5% from the field. Saric struggled greatly in the last two games, shooting a combined 2-9 from the field. In 11 playoff games Saric averaged 11.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in just over 26 minutes of action per night, shooting 47.8% from the field and 37.5% from three point range.
Saric was selected 12th overall by the Sixers in 2014.
• Broderick Turner of the LA Times reported that D’Angelo Russell may not want to join the 76ers.
“But the buzz around the NBA is that D’Angelo Russell, a 6-5 point guard from Ohio State whom many see as a lesser Stephen Curry-type, doesn’t want to play for the unpredictable 76ers.”
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com then refuted that report, saying “Russell would be thrilled to play for Philadelphia.” This report was further reinforced by Russell stating publicly that reports of him not wanting to play for the Sixers are attempts at misdirection.
Last week there was much speculation about Russell’s desire to play for the Sixers, as he canceled a workout that he had scheduled with the team. It was later learned that Russell canceled the workout because he was sick, and he would go on to have that workout re-scheduled.
While hardly proof of anything, it’s worth pointing out that D’Angelo Russell played with Joel Embiid in high school, is friends with Nerlens Noel, and has been seen “liking” photoshopped pictures of himself in Sixers gear on instagram.
• The Sixers worked out Duke forward Justise Winslow over the weekend, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. While Winslow to the Sixers at No. 3 isn’t something that has been speculated all that much in mock drafts, Winslow’s defense, athleticism, and ability to stuff a stat sheet do check a lot of boxes that Sam Hinkie has preferred in the past.
• Potential draft pick Mario Hezonja, one of the few players still playing competitive basketball at this stage in the draft process, scored 18 points in 25 minutes of play during F.C. Barcelona’s opening game of their series against Real Madrid in the ACB playoffs. Hezonja connected on 5 of his 6 three pointers in the game. You can watch a video breakdown of his performance at DraftExpress.com.
(Note: Because Hezonja’s team is still playing, teams will not have the opportunity to work Hezonja out or interview him before selecting him on June 25th).