Per ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, Saric informed reporters in Europe on Wednesday that he was coming to the 76ers for the upcoming season. Stein added that Saric’s representatives and the 76ers “are working” to get a deal done this month.
The Orlando Magic originally drafted the 22-year-old Saric with the 12th overall pick in 2014 before trading his rights to the 76ers.
However, per ESPN.com’s Chad Ford, teams knew before the draft that Saric likely wouldn’t be coming to the NBA for at least two years because of his contract with Anadolu Efes that was for two guaranteed years with a player option for 2016-17.
Ford did note sources said Saric’s decision to remain overseas would affect his draft stock, though he wound up going in the lottery.
Saric’s decision to join the NBA has been expected for some time, as he told a Croatian news outlet last November that he was talking to Philadelphia.
“I’m in constant contact with the Sixers,” Saric told Vecernji list (via Matt Lombardo for NJ Advance Media). “They wanted me to come this summer, but I couldn’t get out of the contract. Next summer I have a way out, and I’m gonna take it. I’ll try to go out as the Euroleague champion. That’s the dream.”
The 76ers will have yet another decision to make when Saric arrives. They already have Jahlil Okafor as their starting power forward, though there were trade rumors involving him leading up to last Thursday’s draft.
Saric’s presence will only complicate matters for Philadelphia, which will also be bringing in this year’s No. 1 pick, LSU product Ben Simmons. Those are good problems to have, though, because they give the Sixers options and potential trade assets to use in an effort to upgrade their roster.
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Dario Saric Announces Intention to Play for 76ers for 2016-17 Season
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