Could Dario Saric be in a Sixers uniform sooner rather than later?
According to a report on Wednesday night by international basketball reporter David Pick, the Sixers are trying to lure Saric to Philadelphia from his Turkish team, Anadolu Efes, for the 2015-16 season.
Saric signed a three-year deal with Anadolu Efes just days before the 2014 draft. The contract has a player option in the final year of the deal, which is reportedly worth $1.2 million.
The NBA's collective bargaining agreement states that "the limit on payments to international teams (for the purpose of securing the right to enter into a contract with a player) that will be excluded from team salary is $600,000 for the 2014-15 season, increasing by $25,000 each season thereafter."
Therefore, the Sixers would be able to pay only $625,000 in a potential buyout for the upcoming season. Saric would be responsible for the remainder of the money.
Under the current CBA, if Saric signed with the Sixers prior to the upcoming season, he would be held to the rookie salary scale for first-round draft picks. The scale determines the annual salary based on year and draft position. With Saric being the 12th overall pick in 2014, the 21-year-old Croatian would be in line to make $1.8 million, with the Sixers allowed to offer 20 percent above or below that figure. If they offer Saric the full 120 percent, he could put the extra money toward his buyout.
If Saric honors his entire deal with Anadolu Efes, he would be three years removed from his draft date without signing an NBA contract, meaning he would no longer be held to the rookie salary scale.
When asked in mid-April on TCN's Breakfast on Broad if Saric could play for the Sixers next season, team CEO Scott O'Neil said, "There is a chance, not a high chance, but a chance."
Saric was drafted by the Orlando Magic, but the Sixers acquired his rights in exchange for 10th overall pick Elfrid Payton.
Saric is currently playing in the best-of-seven final of the Turkish Basketball League. In six playoff games, the 6-foot-10 small forward is averaging 12.7 points per game, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 25.7 minutes.