Kurt Helin

Associated Press

After helping Croatia qualify for Olympics, Dario Saric again says he will play for Sixers next season


Dario Saric is consistent. He has been saying for a while that he will play for Philadelphia next season, even though financially it would be wiser for him to play one more season in Europe then come over.

Saturday the 6’10 guy with the point forward skills was named the tournament MVP in leading Croatia to an Olympic berth, and immediately after he — and later his father — confirmed that Saric wants to come play in the NBA next season. Here are a couple of tweets postgame, via CSNPhilly.com.

The Sixers continue to say nothing is official and they are working on a buyout with his Turkish team, but they are hopeful he will be with the team come training camp.

The question isn’t skills, Saric has those. He brings impressive ball handling skills for his size, great scoring instincts (in the post and transition), plus he is a gifted passer. His game is ready to be tested at the NBA level, the only reason not to is money.

If Saric comes to the NBA next season (two seasons after he was drafted), he is locked into the 2014 rookie scale, meaning he would have $4.7 million guaranteed and $10.8 million for the four years of the contract. After three seasons, the Sixers could offer a contract extension beyond this deal, but he would be locked in for the rookie scale that fourth year. If Saric waits one more season and comes over for the NBA’s 2017-18 season, he is not bound by the rookie scale and can negotiate any deal he can get from Philadelphia. Nikola Mirotic did this (as did Timofey Mozgov and others), and Mirotic negotiated a 3-year deal worth $16.6 million last summer — he’s a lower pick than Saric with less potential, and he got that deal before the salary cap spiked. Conservatively, if Saric waits one more a season he should be able to to get three years $21 million from the Sixers — that’s $10 million more guaranteed and he would still be on to his second contract at the same time.

But Saric remains clear, he wants to come over now, and we apparently will at least get to meet him in Las Vegas.

Watch Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell hit game winner in wild Summer League finish


The first half of the showdown between the Sixers and Lakers at Summer League — really a matchup between No. 1 pick Ben Simmons and No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram — was as sloppy a basketball game as you will ever see.

However, in front of a record crowd that filled the Thomas & Mack, the second half was wildly entertaining.

Right down to the contested three game winner from D'Angelo Russell. The finish of this game was wild.

Watch Suns’ Devin Booker drop 28 at NBA Summer League


We didn’t need a Summer League game in Vegas to tell us Devin Booker is legit — he was fourth in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting for a reason.

But as a reminder, he dropped 18 points in the third quarter against Portland Saturday, on his way to 28 points, 8 boards, and 6 assists in the Suns’ win. Check out the highlights above.

Report: Grizzlies acquire backup two guard Troy Daniels in sign-and-trade with Hornets

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The Memphis Grizzlies can’t get enough shooting. It has been their Achilles heel for years, this summer they signed Chandler Parsons to help turn that around.

Another step along that road is signing restricted free agent Troy Daniels to an offer sheet, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. That offer sheet evolved into a sign-and-trade deal.

Free-agent guard Troy Daniels has agreed to a three-year, $10 million contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources told The Vertical.

The Charlotte Hornets and Grizzlies completed a sign-and-trade agreement that will allow Daniels to join Memphis, sources said. The deal created a trade exception for the Hornets.

Daniels is a three-point specialist who shot 48 percent from beyond the arc last season. His advantage is he can do that well off the catch or the bounce. He can come in off the bench behind Tony Allen at the two and bring a real change of pace. The downside is Daniels doesn’t do much will other than shoot — he’s not a great ball handler or defender.

Good pick up for the price by the Grizzlies.

Serbia, Croatia earn Olympic basketball berths; Canada, France to play for final spot

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Serbia and Croatia are Brazil bound.

France or Canada will get the only Olympic basketball spot left.

Serbia emphatically claimed its first Olympic appearance as an independent country Saturday, crushing Puerto Rico 108-77 in the championship game of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament it hosted in Belgrade. Bogdan Bogdanovic had 26 points and eight assists, while tournament MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets added 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Part of an international basketball power in the former Yugoslavia, Serbia made the Olympics for the first time since it became an independent nation in 2006. It appeared two years earlier as Serbia and Montenegro.

Serbia beat Puerto Rico by just six points earlier this week in group play but left no doubt this one wouldn’t be close. The Serbians raced to a 24-3 lead and were ahead 37-11 after one quarter, extended it to 60-27 at halftime, and shot 58.7 percent for the game.

Croatia had a much tougher time, outlasting Italy 84-78 in overtime in Turin, Italy. Bojan Bogdanovic of the Brooklyn Nets scored 26 points, former Philadelphia 76ers lottery pick Dario Saric added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and the Croatians qualified for the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

The other final is Sunday in Manila, Philippines, where Canada gets a second shot to claim the Olympic berth that slipped away last year when it blew a late lead and was stunned by Venezuela in the semifinals of the FIBA Americas tournament.

Cory Joseph of the Toronto Raptors scored 23 points and Tristan Thompson of the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers added 13 points and 10 rebounds Saturday in a 78-72 victory over New Zealand.

France beat Turkey 75-63 in the other semifinal, getting 17 points from Thomas Heurtel.

After Sunday’s final, there will be a draw to place the three champions in the Rio field. Two of them will end up in the same group as the two-time defending champion U.S.

Along with the Americans, the other teams who have already qualified for the 12-team field are Spain, Lithuania, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, China, Australia and Nigeria.

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