JULY 15, 3:58pm: The Sixers have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed Saric.
“We are thrilled to finally announce the highly anticipated signing of Dario Saric to an NBA player contract with the Philadelphia 76ers,” said GM Bryan Colangelo in a statement. “Our basketball team stands to benefit from both the on-court development and physical maturation of Dario as a professional player in Croatia and Turkey over the last few years.”
JULY 14, 8:10am: After insisting for months that he’d join the Sixers for the 2016/17 season, Dario Saric has delivered on that vow. According to agent Misko Raznatovic (via Twitter), the Sixers and Saric have agreed to terms on a new contract, and the young forward is headed to Philadelphia to sign his deal.
Philadelphia officials have been engaged in contract talks with Saric in recent weeks, with reports this week suggesting that a deal was imminent. The 22-year-old Croatian reportedly has a buyout in the neighborhood of $800K from Anadolu Efes, his team in Turkey, and NBA rules allow the Sixers to cover $650K of that. Philadelphia acquired the rights to Saric in 2014 in a draft-day deal with Orlando.
Because he’s signing his first NBA contract within three years of being drafted, Saric will be subject to the rookie scale, which was what made some observers skeptical that he’d actually join the 76ers this season. If he had waited another year, Saric would have had the freedom to negotiate a more lucrative contract. Instead, he figures to get a pact that’s identical to what this year’s 12th overall pick (Taurean Prince) will receive — that will work out to $2,318,280 for his rookie year, and $10,749,666 over the life of his four-year deal.
With Ben Simmons joining the Sixers as the No. 1 pick, Saric arriving from Turkey, and Joel Embiid looking to head into the regular season healthy for the first time since being drafted third overall in 2014, the Sixers believe they’ll have three players capable of contending for the 2016/17 Rookie of the Year award.