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Dario Saric Says He's Coming to the Sixers Next Summer

Dario season approachin'...

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Our long international nightmare might be over, as Dario Saric said that he intends on joining the 76ers in 2016, per Croatian newspaper Vecernji list. [h/t to's Matt Lombardo on the find and translation (ed. note: it looks like some of these translations came from the folks at r/sixers)]. "I'm in constant contact with the Sixers. 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," Saric told the paper.

Those who've monitored the Saric situation in Sixers land have been wary of him coming over next summer, when he has an out clause in the initial three-year year contract he signed with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League before the 2014 NBA Draft. This stems from the projected skyrocketing salary cap over the ensuing two summers and the fact that if Saric were to stay overseas for three seasons after the Sixers drafted him, he would no longer be bound to a rookie-scale contract. Here's what I wrote about the situation over the summer:

The reasoning that 2017 is more likely of a target date for Saric to be in Philly than 2016 is that it would then be three years since Saric was drafted, freeing him from the rookie-scale contract he'd otherwise be bound to. This is what led Bulls rookie Nikola Mirotic to wait until the 2014-15 season to come stateside after being selected with the 23rd pick in the 2011 draft. Mirotic went from making a maximum of $1,204,560 if he were to have come over in 2013 to $5,305,000 this season in the first year of a three-year deal worth up to $16,600,000.

Saric's contract in 2017 would likely be more than that when taking into consideration the expected changes in the cap between 2014 and 2017, as well as the Sixers' likelihood of having cap space when the 2017 offseason comes around.

The reasoning behind the change in thought process for Saric may be due to a poor relationship with his Turkish club that has him unhappy with his role and playing time. "I can't say I'm happy with the situation. But it's not all that bad. The decision to come to Efes was my own, and I don't regret it."

In the time I've spent watching European basketball, coaches overseas have a propensity for gluing younger, and sometimes more talented, players to the bench in favor of playing veterans. Saric is likely aware of the Sixers' current roster situation and knows he could be getting more minutes and a bigger role on a larger stage in the NBA.

While talks of what Saric will do next summer will linger for the entirety of the season, Saric's words still serve as a bit of hope that the Sixers are finally turning their picks and promises into talented players.

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