While he might not be launching threes in summer league with his fellow Eastern European pal Furkan Aldemir, Dario Saric reportedly would like to have been with the 76ers this summer, as news broke this morning that Saric wanted to come to the NBA and the Sixers this offseason, per Basketball Insiders' David Pick.
The reasoning such a move in 2015 was unlikely and ultimately unsuccessful, as I outlined previously, is that Saric is still under contract with his Turkish club, Anadolu Efes, until the 2016-17 season with the potential for a buyout in the summer of 2016. He is still Efes' player until that time regardless of either the Sixers' or his intentions. Despite the option of having Saric come to the NBA next offseason, many had still assumed that a 2017 arrival was more likely due to the negative financial ramifications of him coming over one year sooner. Here's what I originally wrote regarding that:
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.
This leads me to think that the possibility of Saric coming to the NBA in 2016 is no longer off the table. If Saric truly wants to play for the Sixers and square off with the world's top competition, he will have the option of taking that leap in one year's time, assuming that the salary situation is less of a concern for him.
While Saric would neither confirm nor deny Pick's report, the two did talk about his potential jump stateside, as Saric stated, "I think I’m ready to compete in the NBA, against the best players, but we built a great team in Efes and I want to help the club win a championship."
Saric coming over in 2016 instead of 2017 could help the Sixers get one year to accomplishing that feat themselves.