After finishing the 2015-16 season with a dismal 10-72 record and undergoing a front office regime change, the Sixers are searching for ways to reap rewards from the process.
Help may be on its way.
According to international basketball reporter David Pick, Croatian forward Dario Saric is planning to leave his current team in Turkey to play next season with the Sixers.
Saric’s arrival in Philadelphia had been a question mark ever since the Sixers traded down in a 2014 draft-night trade with the Magic to select him 12 overall. The 6-foot-9 forward opted to stay in Europe and has been playing for Anadola Efes in Turkey.
There were reports Saric had wanted to join the Sixers ahead of the 2015-16 season but couldn’t get out of his contract.
Saric and the Sixers remained in close contact while he played overseas. Last month at the team’s season-ending press conference, head coach Brett Brown said he and Saric constantly swap messages on WhatsApp. Former general manager Sam Hinkie spoke with Saric or his representatives at least once every two days, too.
Brown also took an eight-day trip to Turkey to look in on the prospect and returned at the beginning of March feeling confident Saric would don a Sixers uniform next season.
Some feared salary consequences would keep Saric in Europe for another year. If he does in fact come to the Sixers for the upcoming season, Saric would still be tied to the rookie pay scale as opposed to being free to sign without those limitations a year from now. But it looks like he'd rather get his NBA career started sooner rather than later.
Saric averaged 11.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game with Anadola Efes in 2015-16 while shooting 50 percent from the floor.