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Report: Dario Saric will join NBA next season if Celtics or Lakers draft him

May 29, 2014, 1:29 PM EST

BASKET-EURO-2013-ESP-CRO Getty Images

Dario Saric – a 20-year-old Croatian forward – is currently an early entry in the 2014 NBA draft.

He also held the same status at this point before the 2013 draft, but he withdrew. Saric could do the same this year by 5 p.m. June 16.

Before it comes to that, he’s angling for his preferred destinations.

David Pick of EuroBasket:

Not only do the Celtics (No. 6) and Lakers (No. 7) have high picks, they’re storied franchises with strong foundations. Saric would make more money by going higher – our mock draft has him going No. 12 – and he would have a better chance of succeeding while playing for teams he believes fit him.

But why would Boston or Los Angeles go for that?

It’s possible Saric, a ball-handling wing, impresses them. But there are a lot of talented players vying to be top-seven picks, and right now, Saric is on the outside looking in.

There are some teams in Saric’s range – looking at you Philadelphia at No. 10 – that might actually prefer he not sign immediately, so they get an extra year of tanking of a year and/or avoid paying his salary next season. He didn’t seem interested in going that route last year, but a new set of teams are now positioned to draft and stash him.

We’ll see how much hardball Saric wants to play with teams besides the Celtics and Lakers, but this might be the first step to Saric withdrawing again.

He’s leaving his doors open for now. Remember, this report says nothing about what Saric would do if a team other than the Celtics or Lakers drafts him – though the implication exists.

  1. bigx21 - May 29, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Good luck Saric … For not getting drafted by either Celtics or LAL!! Your not worth getting drafted higher than 10th pick, so stay in your country!!

    • jcmeyer10 - May 29, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Well, Celts do own 17th pick and a boatload of others. Moving up to 12 or 13 wouldn’t be crazy.

      • lphboston - May 29, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        If he says that he’ll only play for the Celtics (or Lakers), he might scare others off and be available at 17.

        BIG IF ….. they can somehow land Love, re-sign Rondo, grab this kid, finagle Asik from the Rockets to protect the rim and find a SG who can defend a bit, they might have an interesting rotation.

      • ruimigueldarmindo - May 29, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        We have two of the best defending Guards in the League: Rondo and Bradley!

        This guy is an incredible player. I bet he would easily dominate the NCAA. European basketball is getting better, better than most around the NBA believe.

      • jcmeyer10 - May 29, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Rondo is a gambler and I saw Bradley take a large step back when he tried to score more. I don’t think we should match just any offer for Bradley.

      • tomasekradek - May 30, 2014 at 4:56 AM

        I think that #17 suits him well in this draft. I’ve seen him on my own eyes during U19 WC in Prague (and few times in TV) and he sure already is one of the best players is Europe. However I’m not sure his game will translate well going to NBA. So he is a bit of gamble…
        He got all the skills in the world to play almost every position he wants but is too slow for SF and too soft for PF. I see this as the biggest problem of many players from Europe – they’re skilled but lack athleticism for their lenght. He has enough to play with european wingplayers but NBA is on another level (Vesely 2.0 with ball-handling skills??). Šarič is great baller but i’m afraid there is no good position for his lenght, athleticism and sklil set.
        But maybe his sky-high confidence will help him overcome some of his deficiencies (something not many Euroguys have in bunches)and becomes more of a Dirk instead of Vesely

    • basketballhooper1 - May 29, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Yeah, f this nazi croation bastard!

      • kb2408 - May 29, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        I see Donald Sterling is leaving comments today.

    • sasquash20 - May 29, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      I love this kid. He is from the same town as my ex’s family. Kid will be a baller no doubt.

  2. mackcarrington - May 29, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    OK, now who is this dude??

    • asimonetti88 - May 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      I believe he is Dario Saric, a basketball player from Croatia.

      • mackcarrington - May 29, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        Is he good? What are his accomplishments? Is he one of the best European players?
        Is he better than the top American college players? Is he worth a top ten draft pick?
        Still…. who is this dude?

    • doctorofsmuganomics - May 29, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      Reading is hard, huh?

  3. thundergunxpres - May 29, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Celts have 17th too maybe they can get him there

    • sasquash20 - May 29, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      He will go top 10

  4. RavenzGunnerz - May 29, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    I seriously wonder, what GM would waste a high pick on a guy that hasn’t played competitive basketball on US soil, and is being an azz… Oh wait, the Knicks maybe? oh, they have no pick.

    • money2long - May 29, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      U have no life

  5. captainwisdom8888 - May 29, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    I felt he would be a very enticing option for my 76ers in pick 10, but if he is already pulling stuff like this than maybe I’d rather not have Philly take him just to watch him stay in Croatia like a complete bag of d**sh.

    • sasquash20 - May 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Heinkie would want him to stay over seas so he could lotto it up again next season

      • misremembered72 - May 30, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        ^that and they lose their first rounder next year if they make the playoffs

  6. rushbacker - May 29, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Stay in Europe, kid. We have more than enough front-runners here as it is.

  7. imthedudedude - May 29, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Word around is that this was all lost in translation and he has said no such thing.

  8. aboogy123456 - May 29, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Further evidence that guys still want to play for the lakers, no matter how bad they were last season.

  9. johnheisman - May 29, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    I am on the same page as Saric. I will also join the NBA if the Celtics or Lakers draft me. However, the fact that I am a 5′ 11″ power forward that last played in a reserve role on a high school JV team in the mid 70s may hurt my draft status.

  10. mungman69 - May 29, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    The Suxers might try him but what guarantee is there that he would sign with Philly?

  11. djshnooks - May 29, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    No thanks, Celtics…stick with Americans.

    So sick of these self-entitled Europeans.

    • granadafan - May 29, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      Yeah, we have enough home-grown sef-entitled players and many more who don’t try!

  12. djshnooks - May 29, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Let me clarify…

    Kids who played American college ball.

  13. saint1997 - May 29, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Great fit for sac

    • cbking05 - May 29, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      why? cuz he’ white?

      • 00maltliquor - May 30, 2014 at 3:27 AM

        ???

        ‘Cause Sacramento has sooo many white players, huh.

        That would have applied if you said Minnesota, not so much Sacramento, considering they cut half the white guys from their team when they dropped Fredette and Fredette alone.

  14. campcouch - May 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    I hope he’s worth the trouble. Forcing a draft spot will bring a lot of expectations.

  15. 00maltliquor - May 30, 2014 at 3:10 AM

    Yaroslav Korolev.

    Who??

    Exactly.

    12th pick in ’05. We’ll all remember this guy the same way we remember Korolev. I’m a Lakers fan and Celtics hater, but I wouldn’t even want BOS wasting a pick like that. I want them to return to relevance too that we we can battle yet again.

  16. AZ Dem - May 30, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    There’s no way Ainge is not dealing the #6. It’s the logical thing to do. There’s a lot of talent in this draft, but there is no sure thing. There’s no Tim Duncan, no Kevin Durrant in this draft. But there is a lot of depth. Ainge is going to trade down. I’d trade the #6 for the #16 in 2014 and 2015. Two mid-range picks are really more valuable than a lottery pick. Remember, Ainge got Rondo at #21.

  17. ajsjr40 - May 30, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    •Very skilled wing
    •Great size for his position
    •Has extraordinary court vision
    •Excellent ball handler
    •Good rebounder

    And why wouldn’t the Celtics and Lakers have interest in a player such as this?

  18. sixerstrong - May 30, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Why would anyone want such a brat on their team? I’d be fine if the Sixers use one of their million second-round picks on this guy, just to send him to the D league. Rather have Gary Harris with the 10th.

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