Dario Saric signed a three-year contract with a Turkish team, Anadolu Efes, earlier this week that would was reported to keep him overseas for two years.
The day before the draft, Saric repeated that two-year timetable:
But after he was drafted No. 12 and traded to the 76ers, Saric opened the possibility of a quicker jump to the NBA.
“I think we can talk about that with Turkey team after the next season,” Saric said. “If a chance to be, I will come here to 76ers of Philadelphia.”
The rebuilding 76ers are certainly in no rush. They also drafted Joel Embiid, who was too injured to even attend the draft, a year after nabbing Nerlens Noel, who missed the entire season.
Sam Hinkie doesn’t want his team to get too good before it has a chance to add multiple high lottery picks.
Eventually, though, he’ll want Saric. There’s always a risk Saric, especially given his new deal signed just before the draft, will become the next Fran Vasquez. The Magic drafted Vasquez No. 11 in 2005, and he still hasn’t joined the NBA and probably never will.
“I’m no liar, and one day I’ll be back in Philadelphia for sure,” Saric said.
Most likely, Saric just got a little excited on draft night and probably will remain in Turkey for two years, but it really depends on the language of the contract. How the 76ers do next season will determine how much they – and Saric – press the issue.