Sixers draft-and-stash prospect Dario Saric‘s father confirmed that the forward intends to opt out of his deal with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes after the season in order to join the NBA, Vedran Modrić of Eurohopes relays (h/t to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). Philadelphia apparently wanted to bring Saric over for 2015/16, and the player shared that desire, according to a report by international journalist David Pick, but his contract contained no escape clause for this season. Saric’s father has reportedly been pushing the Sixers away from his son, but the younger Saric has denied that his father is exerting undue influence upon him regarding his playing career.
Saric was non-committal back in June when he was asked about the possibility of him playing in the NBA in 2016/17. “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 at the time. “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.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is thankful for all of the support he received from the team’s fanbase during his years in Boston, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. “They know the game. That’s what impressed me most about being in Boston,” Rondo told Blakely. “They know the game. They appreciate it. They’re the best fans. Whenever I was out in public, they always showed me great love, great appreciation. The fans always showed love, even my first year when we lost 18 straight. They’ve been the best fans I ever played for.”
- Nets coach Lionel Hollins isn’t surprised by Deron Williams‘ solid play for the Mavericks this season, with Hollins noting that Williams needed to get away from the bright lights of New York in order to succeed, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “He’s played well. I said he’d play well, he’d be more comfortable out of New York,’’ Hollins said. “I said that he’d go down and play in a little different system, but mainly be out of New York and be away from the New York spotlight and expectations that were really unnatural. So I expected him to play better.’’