Name: Dario Saric
Position: Small Forward
School/Country: Cibona (Croatia)
Latest Stats: 7.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.1 apg
Dario Saric has an intriguing draft profile. At 6-foot-10 he is officially listed as a small forward, although he will probably pan out as a rangy prospect at both the 3 and 4 positions. Saric is a native of Croatia and at just 19 years of age, he’s on the rise on many draft boards. Saric’s size and age make him a potential steal if he can live up to the hype, especially considering the fact that he is coming from overseas, so not too many fans are familiar with him. Originally believed to be a late first round projection, Saric is creeping up the 2013 NBA Draft and could potentially hear his name on the fringe of the lottery section.
In his last professional season with KK Cibona in Croatia, Saric averaged 7.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, but consider the fact that he is young and those numbers are based on a 23.5 minutes per game pace. Saric had an abundance of success at the U16 European Championships a few years ago.
Update (May 10): Saric is not a lock to keep his name within the draft field if he does not envision himself being a lottery selection, according to reports. The deadline to withdraw is June 17, but we will likely know more following the NBA Draft lottery on May 21.
Strengths: The upside for Saric is obvious. He has drawn comparisons to Hedo Turkoglu, which would surely make him a valuable NBA asset for a solid numbers of years. Comparisons aside however, Saric’s size is his best attribute. The fact that he stands at 6-foot-10 and can stretch the floor and play on the perimeter is a dream scenario considering that rarity. With that being said, you can clearly see the comparisons to Turkoglu.
Weaknesses: Saric does need to become more physical, but given his age (19), he will have time to do so. If Saric plans on making a future on the perimeter in the NBA, he will have to improve his shooting or else he could be forced to play more so in the paint. That differential between small forward or power forward will be key as his career pans out following the draft.
Draft Projection: Mid-to-Late First Round
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