The 12th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Croatian forward Dario Saric, will not be on the Philadelphia 76ers’ roster for the 2015-16 season. ESPN’s Chad Ford first reported the story on Monday morning.
You’re probably wondering why Saric was drafted by the 76ers last year, and yet still hasn’t suited for them a full year after he was selected. Here’s the thing: Saric is currently under a three-year contract with the Anadolu Efes, one of the most prominent Turkish basketball clubs in the Euroleague. According to Ford’s sources, the Sixers have attempted to make a buyout happen in recent months, but it’s too expensive to facilitate.
Saric signed the deal with Efes just three days prior to last year’s NBA Draft, and his draft stock fell as a result. That’s how Orlando was able to nab him at 12 when he was a top-10 prospect a week earlier. Orlando made the pick for Philly in exchange for Elfrid Payton.
Saric has a player option on his Efes contract that could allow him to play in the NBA during the 2016-17 season, but if he remains in Turkey and elects to move to the NBA before the 2017-18 season, he’ll no longer fall under the league’s rookie salary scale. Similar to Nikola Mirotic’s three-year, $17 million deal with the Bulls after coming over from Spain last summer, Saric stands to make a lot more money if he plays the 2016-17 season in Turkey, and comes over in the summer of 2017.