Dario Saric will almost certainly declare for this year’s draft, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, who writes in a series of tweets. This contradicts earlier information that Saric would not be entering the draft on the heels of agreeing in principle to a three-year, $8.27MM contract with his European team. Yesterday, we noted that the agent critical of Saric’s decision-making was expected to part ways with the Croatian forward, but Givony tweets that the agent’s relationship with Saric had ended before making the comments, and asserts that the criticism was based more on a personal grudge than accurate information.
Givony also casts doubt on the report of Saric’s contract agreement in Europe, saying that the news is “bogus” and comes from former agents who have an ax to grind. The deal that Saric was to have signed didn’t include an NBA escape clause until 2016, when he would have been automatically eligible for the draft.
Whatever Saric decides will significantly impact how the 2014 draft shakes out. The 6’10” scorer is ranked 9th overall by Givony at DraftExpress, and 14th on ESPN Insider Chad Ford’s top 100. He could always enter the draft and still opt to remain overseas, so clarity on whether he intends to jump to the NBA immediately would certainly help his draft stock, as most teams with lottery picks would want to avoid selecting a talent they couldn’t immediately begin developing. If he does declare and slide down draft board, he could be appealing as a value for teams with the luxury to wait on a “draft and stash” prospect.