Dario Saric

Atlantic Notes: Saric, Kaun, Jason Smith, Carroll

The Sixers apparently wanted to bring Dario Saric over for 2015/16, and Saric shared that desire, reports David Pick, writing for Basketball Insiders. However, the No. 12 pick in the 2014 draft doesn’t have a way to escape his contract with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes until next year. Saric was circumspect when Pick asked him about the idea of coming stateside and the situation with his overseas team.

“It’s really hard for me to answer that,” Saric said. “I can’t comment. 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.”

In any case, it would seem that Saric is anxious to sign with the Sixers as soon as he can, rather than wait until 2017, when he wouldn’t be bound by the rookie scale, though that’s just my observation. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The most recent talks the Nets have had with the Cavaliers were about Cleveland draft-and-stash center Sasha Kaun, not Joe Johnson, as Chris Mannix of SI.com reports as part of a larger piece. The Nets and Kaun, a 6’11” 30-year-old, have had mutual interest for some time, tweets Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. The Spurs have also reportedly talked to the Cavs about him. The Johnson discussion is reportedly dormant.
  • The Knicks offered their $2.814MM room exception to Jason Smith, but he turned it down for more money from the Magic, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. New York could have offered as much as $3,933,600 via Non-Bird rights, but agent Mark Bartelstein made it clear there are no hard feelings, as Berman relays. “The Knicks made a great attempt to try to keep him,’’ Bartelstein said.
  • Soon-to-be Raptors signee DeMarre Carroll authored an homage to the Hawks, his former team, in The Players’ Tribune, giving credit to a handful of figures, especially former Hawks assistant Quin Snyder, who’s now head coach of the Jazz.
  • New Raptors D-League one-to-one affiliate Raptors 905 has named Dan Tolzman as its GM and Jesse Mermuys its head coach and assistant GM, the team announced. Both were already employed within the Raptors organization.

Sixers Pursuing Dario Saric For Next Season?

JUNE 22ND, 8:18am: Saric won’t play for the Sixers in 2015/16, agent Jeff Schwartz tells Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

JUNE 10TH, 11:16pm: The Sixers are in talks with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes to bring 2014 draftee Dario Saric to the NBA next season, David Pick of Eurobasket.com reports (Twitter links). Saric is signed to a deal with the Turkish team that contains no NBA buyout clause for 2015/16, but Philadelphia reportedly wants the talented forward to join the team immediately, Pick adds. The 21-year-old’s contract does include a buyout clause for the 2016/17 campaign.

Philadelphia would only be able to pay a buyout of $625K, per league rules, and Efes will almost assuredly request a higher amount, notes Derek Bodner of USA Today (Twitter link). The sense amongst several agents who have worked with Anadolu Efes in the past is that the team will ask for at least $2MM to part ways with Saric, Jake Fischer of LibertyBallers relays in a series of tweets. The forward could kick in some of his salary for 2015/16, with the legal ceiling being a total combined buyout amount of approximately $2,067,720, Fischer notes. If Efes demanded over $2MM for a buyout, Saric would sacrifice $1,442,720 of his possible $1,898,300 for his rookie season, the LibertyBallers scribe adds.

A number of sources also told Fischer (via Twitter) that the league doesn’t regulate negotiations between NBA teams and foreign clubs, so the Sixers could technically pay any amount regardless of the rules. This is not to suggest that Philadelphia would actually do so, but the possibility does exist.

Saric was non-committal last month when he was asked about the possibility of him playing in the NBA next season.  “Next season? I don’t know and I can’t speak about that because I don’t know yet the situation, how things are going to work out,” Saric said. “I can say that I’m happy here at Efes and I’m also happy that people from Philadelphia came here and want me there. That’s all I can tell you right now. I don’t have any information or any feeling regarding what could happen. I’m just focused on the rest of the season. If I stay here or if I go to the NBA, I will be happy [either way]. I don’t know what could happen this summer or next summer. Now it’s not the time to talk about that.”

Sixers Rumors: Saric, Embiid, Hinkie

Rumors that the Sixers are trying to get draft-and-stash prospect Dario Saric to join the team next year could be a sign that patience is wearing thin in Philadelphia, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. The Sixers acquired the draft rights to the Croatian forward, who was the No. 12 pick in the 2014 draft, expecting him to spend time overseas before coming to the NBA. He signed a three-year deal with Anadolu Efes of Turkey that doesn’t include a buyout until next summer, but there are rumblings that the Sixers want to find a way to get their hands on him as soon as possible. Moore speculates that ownership may be tiring of GM Sam Hinkie’s long-term plan of losing games and collecting assets, which is leading to declining revenue and half-empty arenas on game nights. They want to combine Saric with Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and this year’s No. 3 pick to create a foundation that fans can get excited about. Moore also writes that Hinkie will likely try to deal one of his potential 2016 first-round picks (from the Thunder, Lakers or Heat) for an extra first-round choice this year.

There’s more this morning from Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers are talking to “experts and specialists” to determine the next step with Embiid, Moore writes in a separate story. Hinkie issued a statement Saturday night that a CT scan indicates Embiid’s right foot shows “less healing than anticipated at this point.” Embiid may be kept out of summer league, and another surgery could put his 2015/16 season in jeopardy, Moore notes. “These findings cause us to pause and reassess his current activities,” Hinkie said.
  • The Embiid setback is especially disappointing considering what he has shown in recent workouts, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. He writes that eyewitnesses have described Embiid’s “dominant, explosive performances” and noted that he looked like the player the Sixers expected when they drafted him No. 3 out of Kansas last summer. Embiid hadn’t felt pain in the foot despite weeks of rigorous workouts, sources told Wojnarowski.
  • Despite the Sixers’ on-court problems, Hinkie is building a solid reputation as a talent evaluator, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. The columnist credits Hinkie for a draft coup in 2013, when wound up with No. 6 pick Noel and Michael Carter-Williams at No. 11. Carter-Williams was named Rookie of the Year in 2014, and after missing a year due to injury, Noel finished third in the 2015 balloting.

Atlantic Notes: Saric, Celtics, Daniels, Holmes

Dario Saric‘s buyout with Anadolu Efes after next season would cost about 800K euros, as USA Today and DraftExpress contributor Derek Bodner hears. That’s about $900K at today’s exchange rate, but much less than the $2MM-plus it would apparently take to buy Saric out of his deal for this coming season, as the Sixers are reportedly trying to do. Bodner breaks down the numbers involved with Saric’s potential buyout and his rookie scale contract, concluding that it would be most financially rewarding for Saric to stay overseas for two more years and sign with the Sixers in 2017, when he’d no longer be bound by the rookie scale. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge denied to reporters today that the team has had any substantial talks about trading picks, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. The C’s have reportedly been offering around their first-round picks, at Nos. 16 and 28, to move into the lottery. Still, Ainge admitted the team is at least exploring the idea of trading some of the four total picks it has in this month’s draft, among other options that would keep the team from having to bring four rookies onto the roster.
  • Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell, Florida’s Chris Walker, Wisconsin’s Duje Dukan, Butler’s Kameron Woods, and Georgetown’s Greg Whittington all worked out for the Celtics today, Forsberg notes (on Twitter). Jamal Jones, who spent last season in the D-League but remains draft-eligible, is also part of the workout, as Forsberg relays.
  • Draft-and-stash prospect DeAndre Daniels is hopeful that the Raptors will sign him for next season, and the team, which still sees him as part of its future, won’t rule out the idea, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca reports (Twitter links). The small forward who was last year’s 37th overall pick spent this past season with the Perth Wildcats of Australia.
  • The Knicks will soon work out Bowling Green forward Richaun Holmes, sources told Shams Charania of RealGM. Holmes spoke to Zach Links of Hoops Rumors recently about his improved shooting and his goal to make the same strides in ball handling.

Atlantic Notes: Draft, Monty Williams, Saric

The Celtics have interviewed Stanley Johnson, Justise Winslow and Willie Cauley Stein, each of whom has a strong chance to be picked within the top 10, tweets Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, taking it as a sign that the C’s, who have the No. 16 pick, plan to trade up. Of course, NBA teams line up teams and prospects for interviews at the combine, taking place this week in Chicago, so clubs don’t always get the players they want, but teams can give the league an idea of the sort of player they’d like to talk to, Murphy notes (on Twitter). There’s more on the Celtics and the draft amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics also interviewed Robert Upshaw, Murphy reports in a second tweet. Upshaw’s combine measurements stood out, but in part because of the issues surrounding the University of Washington’s decision to dismiss him for a violation of team rules in January, both Chad Ford of ESPN.com and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress rank him only 30th.
  • The Raptors will gauge Monty Williams‘ interest in joining their team as an assistant coach, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears (Twitter links). Still, it’s much more likely that Williams will wait for his next chance at a head coaching job, Stein adds, postulating that he could get a look from either the Nuggets or the Magic.
  • Sixers prospect Dario Saric insists that his father, a key figure in reports about Saric’s career, isn’t exerting undue influence, as Saric says to Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. The 2014 No. 12 pick who’s playing overseas for Turkey’s Anadolu Efes largely avoided Sierra’s question about whether he might play with the Sixers next season, though his contract with Efes doesn’t include an escape clause until 2016. “Next season? I don’t know and I can’t speak about that because I don’t know yet the situation, how things are going to work out,” Saric said. “I can say that I’m happy here at Efes and I’m also happy that people from Philadelphia came here and want me there. That’s all I can tell you right now. I don’t have any information or any feeling regarding what could happen. I’m just focused on the rest of the season. If I stay here or if I go to the NBA, I will be happy [either way]. I don’t know what could happen this summer or next summer. Now it’s not the time to talk about that.”

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Teletovic, Saric

This year’s crop of international players isn’t an especially deep group, and if the Celtics decide to try and strike gold by drafting a player from overseas, the team is more likely to do so in the second round, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. Boston currently owns the No. 33 and No. 48 overall selections in the second round, and potential international targets could include Timothe Luwawu (France), Cedi Osman (Turkey), and Aleksander Vezenkov (Bulgaria), Blakley opines.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  •  Mirza Teletovic, who is eligible to become a restricted free agent this summer if the Nets tender him a qualifying offer worth $4,210,125, indicated that he strongly wishes to remain in Brooklyn, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily writes. “I like Brooklyn, people are great, I know the team and everyone, especially doctors, treated me great when all that happened. I really would like to stay in Brooklyn,” said Teletovic, referring to the multiple blood clots found in in his lungs in January. “I know my teammates and everything is really great. I do not know what will be, but I’ll know more in June when free agent market starts.
  • The 29-year-old forward also expressed the importance for the Nets to have continuity heading into the 2015/16 campaign, Windrem adds. “I think we had a good season, given the fact that they changed the coach and teammates,” Teletovic said. “Deron [Williams], Brook [Lopez], Joe [Johnson] and I are the only players who have not changed. I think it is important for the Nets to stay with the same system. Some changes good and some bad … but it is very difficult when there are a lot of changes.
  • Sixers draft-and-stash pick Dario Saric has impressed a number of scouts and journalists who have watched the 21-year-old Croatian play this season, Tom Moore of Calkins Media writes. Saric’s overseas contract doesn’t include a buyout provision until after the second season, so it’s unlikely that Philadelphia’s fans will see him in a Sixers jersey until the 2016/17 campaign at the earliest, Moore notes.

Eastern Notes: Thornton, Hardaway Jr., Wallace

With Dwyane Wade‘s injury history and the lack of production from the bench, one possibility for the Heat to correct this deficiency is Celtics shooting guard Marcus Thornton, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. Miami wanted to sign Thornton this past offseason, but Thornton was unable to come to terms on a buyout arrangement with Boston, Jackson notes. In 20 games for the Celtics this season, Thornton has averaged 8.2 points and is nailing 42.3% of his three-pointers. The 27-year-old is currently suffering from a small tear in his left calf and is expected to miss a few weeks of action.

Here’s more from the East:

  • The deal with the Nets that garnered Boston three first round draft picks, but also required the Celtics to take back Gerald Wallace‘s bloated contract is looking better for Boston every day, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes. Though Boston would jump at the chance to trade Wallace and the remaining $10.1MM that he is owed for next season, the veteran is providing value as a leader and a spot defender, notes Forsberg.
  • With J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert currently out for the Knicks with injuries, Tim Hardaway Jr. has been struggling with his increased minutes, but Hardaway says the pressure to make his case for more playing time in the future isn’t a factor in his struggles, Fred Kerber of The New York Post writes. “I’m not going to hold my head. I’m not going to get frustrated,” Hardaway said. “I’ve just got to go in the gym and work on it. I’ve got to see the ball going in the basket. That’s what I’m going to do.
  • The play of Sixers‘ 2014 first-rounder Dario Saric overseas has Philadelphia’s coaches and front office excited for the future, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Saric is currently the only player in the Turkish Basketball League who is averaging at least 11.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, notes Pompey. “I pay attention to him [in] all the games he plays,”  Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “I’ll go and either watch a portion or all of it or highlights. We play text tag all the time. [GM] Sam [Hinkie] was just over there last week. The exciting thing is he’s ours. He will be a Philadelphia 76er and we all have to be excited about that.

And-Ones: Internationals, Crowder, Cavs

With Rockets and Timberwolves playing below the border and the Blazers scoring 111 points in the first three quarters in Denver, the NBA’s Wednesday night has been anything but normal. As the final quarter ticks away in Mexico City, let’s look at some news and notes from around the league:

  • David Pick of Basketball Insiders includes Vasilije Micic (Sixers), Alex Abrines (Thunder), Davis Bertans (Spurs), Dario Saric (Sixers), Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (Suns) on his list of six international draft-and-stashes who could contribute in the NBA now.
  • In a chat with readers, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News calls the MavericksJae Crowder a “keeper in this league” on a good team. Crowder will hit restricted free agency after this season, but has not really gotten an opportunity to put his skills on display thus far in his third NBA season, as Sefko adds.
  • Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders provides an extensive evaluation of how the Cavaliers have handled building around their trio of stars, for this and the coming years. As Duncan points out, the Anderson Varejao extension now looks a bit riskier considering the team’s defense struggles. Duncan opines that locking up fellow big Tristan Thompson might be shrewd since the Varejao deal has limited any other options.

Eastern Notes: Saric, Hamilton, Thibodeau

Dario Saric is unlikely to end up signing with the Sixers this season even as his father threatens to find a way out of the forward’s deal with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes, sources tell Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com. Shorr-Parks hears there’s no buyout clause in the Efes deal, so Saric couldn’t come to NBA next season, either, as he hinted he might, unless Anadolu Efes consents.

Here’s more from the east:

  • Positions won’t play much into the Sixers‘ thinking when the team decides on its opening night roster, as coach Brett Brown said, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m not out to construct an incredibly well-balanced team,” Brown said. “If we’ve got to tilt because we’ve got a bunch of interesting wings, then that’s the way we will go. … This team is going to be fluid, as we all know.”
  • Jordan Hamilton said he knows he’s working to impress not just the Raptors but for the other 29 teams, too, in case Toronto doesn’t retain his partially guaranteed contract come opening night, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. Hamilton is up against Greg Stiemsma and Will Cherry, each of whom has the same $25K partial guarantee, with seemingly one regular season roster spot to go around for the three.
  • There’s more talk around the Bulls that the team will give Tom Thibodeau a raise than that the coach will be on his way out of Chicago in the foreseeable future, as USA Today’s Sam Amick writes in a piece that sizes up the job security of all 30 coaches.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Saric, Thompson, Carter-Williams

The father of lottery pick Dario Saric is upset about his son’s lack of playing time for Turkey’s Anadolu Efes and is threatening to end his son’s deal with the Euroleague team, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets. Predrag Saric said he’ll look for someone who would finance a buyout if his son, whose NBA rights belong to the Sixers, doesn’t start to see the floor soon, as he told Hrvoje Slišković of Jutarnji.hr, a outlet in Saric’s native Croatia. Dario agreed to a long-term contract with Efes shortly before the draft, one that was to keep him out of the NBA for at least this season and likely until 2016, but it’s not clear if Predrag’s agitation is a precursor to an early NBA jump, particularly since he’s advocated in the past for his son to remain in Europe. There’s more on the Sixers in our look around the league:

  • There have been conflicting reports about whether Klay Thompson is asking for the maximum salary in an extension with the Warriors, but Thompson’s father says it’s indeed the max that he’s after. Mychal Thompson made his comments Monday on his own ESPNLosAngeles radio show (audio link), as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group transcribes.
  • Mychal, a former Lakers player, also signaled that he’d like to see his son play for the Lakers at some point, Leung observes in the same piece.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown clarified to reporters that the team never gave a recovery timetable for Michael Carter-Williams, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Carter-Williams said yesterday that he was told when his shoulder surgery took place in May that he would be out six to nine months. Indeed, Philly’s release at the time stated that there was no timetable. Pompey and other reporters gave a two-to-four month estimate shortly after the surgery based on the way others have come back from the injury.
  • Shawn Marion, who left Dallas for the Cavs this summer, still has a bitter taste in his mouth from the Mavs‘ decision to let go of Tyson Chandler soon after the team won the championship in 2011, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance to defend [our title],” Marion said.

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