It seems as though there's trouble in Turkish paradise for Sixers 2014 1st round pick Dario Saric. To the surprise of many, the Croatian forward was a DNP-CD for Anadolu Efes first two regular season games. Word is he's healthy, but with Turkish league rules stipulating only six foreign players could be on the roster, head coach Ivkovic Dusan opted for Serbian big man Nenad Kristic over Saric.
Kristic is also reportedly not completely healthy, which made leaving Saric off the roster for Anadolu's season opener even more surprising. That DNP-CD eventually led to this tweet from Eurobasket correspondent David Pick yesterday:
Camp of Dario Saric are unhappy with recent Turkish League DNP-CD.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) October 13, 2014
Today, Saric's father, Predrag, spoke with Croatian newspaper Jutarnji about his son's unhappiness with his current playing time.
From a Google translation of the article:
- Not good. I'm afraid it's time for the alarm. Dario is depressed, nothing was clear - worried father Predrag Saric. Ten days ago, Dario was unhappy because there was little action for him, the coach did not want a lot of shoots. - If this continues, we look for someone who can pay for breach of contract. Dario has to play, not watch the match from the stands.
So, things seem off to a really inauspicious start for Dario and his new club. The talk of a breach of contract is interesting, because Saric hinted at him possibly coming over after this season. With the current lack of playing time, that will certainly douse some gasoline on the "Saric in 2015" fire. From the translation, it seems as if his father is hinting at him possibly finding another European team rather than coming to Philadelphia, which falls directly in with Predrag's line of thinking. He's mentioned on multiple occasions that he feels Dario isn't ready for the NBA yet.
There are also certain rules in the NBA when it comes to buying an international player out of his contract. No NBA team is allowed to pay more than the Excluded International Player Payment Amount, which for 2015-16 would be $625,000. If the buyout exceeded that amount, it would have to come out of the player's own pocket, which could be a real turn off for the Saric family.
With all that said, it's still extremely early in the season for Anadolu, and the situation could change their rather quickly.
Anadolu Efes has their first Euroleague game Thursday vs. Unics Kazan.