NBA fans and general managers of lottery teams have been waiting on Croatia’s Dario Saric for a few years now. At 6’10″, he possesses an impressive skill set, as he’s capable of handling the ball well and making smart passes. Saric, although not a great shooter, plays like a guard in a center’s body.
These are some of the reasons mock drafts have him going in the top 10 of the 2014 NBA Draft. ESPN’s Chad Ford has him projected as the ninth-best prospect right now. But we’ve heard this story before.
Last year, all the details were pretty much the same. Dario Saric was still a highly skilled power forward with guard IQ. He was still projected as a lottery pick. In fact, because of how weak last year’s draft was, he was thought to be even higher than he is now. Of course, Saric pulled out of the draft and returned to play in Europe.
While NBA fans may struggle to understand why anyone would voluntarily choose to pass on the greatest league in the world and play elsewhere, Saric may make the same decision again.
Besides possibly being uncomfortable with the American culture or worried about traveling overseas and playing with guys who don’t speak the same language, Saric also has monetary considerations in front of him. According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Saric’s decision may come down to just how high he’s expected to go in the NBA draft. After all, he has big money waiting for him in Europe.
So if money isn’t swaying him to come over to the US and play, and he feels more comfortable playing overseas, why would he pick up his life and move?