The Orlando Magic used their No. 12 pick to draft Dario Saric, the European forward with an intriguing combination of size and skill and nearly five years of professional basketball experience already. After the pick was made, Saric was swapped with future draft picks for Philadelphia's Elfrid Payton, the No. 10 pick.
Along with Dario Saric, Orlando will send a 2015 second-round pick to the Sixers, league source said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 27, 2014
In the Saric-Payton Jr., deal, Sixers also get back the first-round pick sent to Magic in Dwight Howard deal -- likely 2017, source said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 27, 2014
Saric’s name has been on the radar for a while now, having played professionally since 2009. Still, he’s only 20 years old and has plenty of experience, including three Eurocups. He’s been named the FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year in 2013, the Croatian League Finals MVP in 2013, and both the Adriatic League MVP and the Adriatic League Finals MVP in 2014. Basically, he’s conquering Eastern Europe’s basketball courts one by one, all before he can drink legally in America.
His versatile skill set and size are intriguing, especially for his age. Saric is an exceptionally smart player and one with tempting court vision as a ballhandler and passer, capable of creative offensive plays. He scored 16.7 points per contest for Cibona, making nearly half of his shots and pulling down about 10 rebounds per game while tossing out three assists. The main concerns will be how he fits on a team and whether his three-point shot can be a bit more consistent than the decent 34.5 percent he posted last year. Also, getting free from those international contracts often proves a bit difficult.
More than anything, the Sixers need three-point shooting and defense on the wing. Saric doesn’t appear to provide either of those things at first glance, but when you look at the Philadelphia bench, the situation becomes clearer. The 76ers could use some dynamism when it comes to their offense, and adding another big, passing wing like Saric will open things up for their second unit.