The Philadelphia 76ers have been targeting big men so far on draft night, except Dario Saric is not your typical power forward. The 76ers received Saric in a trade with the Orlando Magic for guard Elfrid Payton, who was selected by the team with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
Saric is a unique player in terms of what he can do with the basketball at his size. Saric is a 6-foot-10 forward who handles the ball like a point guard and can score in a variety of ways. Saric will not be posting up any big men anytime soon, but he is able to take any bigger player off the dribble and create an instant mismatch in the front court.
With Saric, the 76ers could really have a dynamic front court. With Nerlens Noel playing down low and Saric helping to spread the floor, the Sixers can play the four around one and really take advantage of open court athleticism and spot-up shooting. The only thing that is wrong with this picture, however, is that Saric may not be coming to the NBA anytime soon.
Saric has a deal in place with Anadolu Efes, a Turkish League team. The deal is in place to be for at least two years, so Saric will not be coming to join Philadelphia anytime soon. Not only is Saric expected to play for the club, but his father has been reported to say that he would prefer his son to stay overseas to continue to develop and maybe even stay overseas for his entire career to be close to family, which could leave more questions than answers for Philadelphia. The 76ers need young players who can come in, learn and impact the team right away, so for Philadelphia to go the route of a “draft and stash” is sort of puzzling, but general manager Sam Hinkie must have a plan for Saric’s future.
If Saric ever comes over and is able to play in Philadelphia, he could make a serious impact, especially if he continues to improve his outside shot. At the moment though, that is a pretty big if.