Dario Saric has said time and again that he’ll play for the Sixers next year if they’ll have him. But that flies in the face of the tired narrative that Sam Hinkie’s seeds will never grow into trees (or even shrubs). So John Smallwood, ignoring all evidence to the contrary, threw up “Don’t believe Dario Saric is coming to the Sixers until he gets here” today. And I do mean threw up.
Smallwood uses the common argument that if Saric waits one more year he can make more money:
I can’t get past how financially insane it would be for Saric, who signed with Anadolu Efes before the 2014 NBA Draft to avoid the constrictions of the rookie salary cap, to then surrender the benefit one year before he would be able to negotiate with the Sixers as a free agent operating with a much bigger salary cap.
That’s true. But by coming over this year, he not only sticks to what he’s been saying for nearly two full years, but he fulfills his dream of being an NBA player while giving himself four years (instead of three) to prove he’s worth that second contract– usually a player’s most lucrative. Additionally, anything can happen. He can blow his knee out tomorrow. The Syrian civil war can spill across the border into Turkey. Josh Harris can sell the Sixers for parts. There are few guarantees.
Let’s look at all the evidence that he won’t come over:
- I mean, technically he could change his mind.
- He’d make more money immediately next year, but probably break even over his career.
Now let’s look at all the evidence that he will:
- On draft night in 2014, Saric said it would be two years and then he’d be in Philadelphia:
- “Yeah, I sign before the Draft because I’m choosing a better option for me to stay two years more in Europe to get more experience, to bring my basketball to another level.I don’t know. I’m choosing before the Draft because I don’t know if someone in Philadelphia choose me because he know I’m no liar, and one day I’ll be back in Philadelphia for sure.”
- June 2015: The Sixers look into bringing Saric over, but his Efes contract gets in the way.
- July 2015: Dario re-iterates that he wanted to be a Sixer ASAP but his contract was a stumbling block.
- November 2015: Dario Saric flat out says he’s coming to the Sixers next season:
- “I’m in constant contact with the Sixers, and they wanted me to come this summer, but I couldn’t get out of the contract. Next summer I have a way out, and I’m gonna take it. I’ll try to go out as the Euroleague champion. That’s the dream.”
- December 2015: Dario says there isn’t an amount of money that could keep him in Turkey.
- Dario’s dad, an agent-like presence in his life, also says he’s coming over.
- Sunday: Dario tells his Efes teammates that he’s leaving to play for the Sixers.
I get what Smallwood is doing. He’s saying this now so when Saric comes over he can say, “Well, I was just saying,” and on the small chance that he doesn’t come over, he can say “I was right, I told you so.” But maybe he should be more focused on being right IN THE MOMENT, because this is in the same column:
The pick is top-3 protected, so the Sixers can only get it at #4 at the highest. But don’t let something like an incredibly well-known fact and important details get in your way, John, you’ve got a deadline.
It’s also worth noting that every single instance of Dario saying he was coming over until the most recent happened with Sam Hinkie in charge, which flies right into the face of this fresh nonsense:
This could be about a change in karma with new President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo having promised to do things to make the Sixers more competitive and respectable.”
Sure. This is Bryan’s doing (or karma, which is fake bullshit) and not just a thing that was in the works for two years, reiterated by Saric multiple times, and finally coming to the end of a very linear path. Straight lines can be so hard to follow.