There are a lot of NBA coaches and GM's who are waiting for Croatian basketball star Dario Saric to enter the 2014 Draft. The 20-year old's plans are crucial to most sides draft board, but he could be set to disappoint them once again.
Saric could have been a Top 8 pick if he was involved in the poor draft class from last year. But two days after declaring for the event he decided not to participate in it and had planned to play for KK Cibona for at least one more season. Saric would, however, officially declare himself for the draft once again on April 14, 2013. Finally, Saric withdrew from the draft altogether, because of his desire to stay in Europe for another year, to gain experience.
If he made himself available this year, he would again be a lock for the Lottery with his undeniable ball-handling ability for a 6ft 10in big man, Anthony Davis style. ESPN’s Chad Ford has him projected as the ninth-best prospect right now.
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 seeing as he has a big money deal waiting for him if he were to stay in Europe.
Saric was the best player in the respected Adriatic League last season. The talented youngster was named to the league's 1st team, won the season MVP Award, and was the Finals MVP, averaging 16 points a game to go along with nearly 10 rebounds per contest.
Draft Express's profile of the man offers the highest praise:
"Standing 6-10, Saric is arguably the most versatile offensive player in this draft class, showing the ability to handle the ball in transition, score on the block, operate in isolation situations in the half-court, play off the ball, and rebound the ball at a very high rate. He's probably also the most experienced player in this draft class, despite only turning 20 last month, playing solid minutes at the European Championships last summer, and helping Croatia qualify for the World Cup this summer by making the semifinals."
Saric would be a Rookie of the Year contender if he declared for the draft, but temptations of staying in Europe are there and could again prove too much to resist.