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Report: Dario Sanic Wants To Be Drafted By Celtics or Lakers

dario_saricInternational players like to pick where to play sometimes. A new report indicates Dario Sanic, one of the top international prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft is doing just that and it may end up working in the Celtics favor. Here’s the report via Eurobasket.com:

What does this report mean for the Celtics in the upcoming draft? Potentially, nothing if they don’t like the 20-year-old as a prospect. If they do though, his desires open up some interesting draft possibilities as I wrote at CBSBostonsports.com

If Saric’s intentions match up to this report, this could create an interesting situation for Ainge in regards to the team’s draft strategy, if the team does in fact like the lanky power forward. Boston could conceivably trade down out of the number six pick and into the middle of the first round (9-15) where Saric is most likely to land.

They could also roll the dice and hold tight to their pick at 17, with the hope that Saric’s threat will cause teams in the middle of the first round to pass on him. It’s a risky proposition since several teams could call Saric on his bluff and take him anyway. Still, with a deep draft class in place, NBA front offices will have several appealing options in the middle of the first round beyond Saric, which could make it easier for teams to pass on him.

The bigger question for Boston though is whether Saric would be a good fit in Green. He’s a 20-year-old from Croatia that has been on the NBA radar for most teams since he was 15. He’s not strong enough to play center in the NBA with his 223-pound frame, making him yet another power forward possibility on the already crowded depth chart at the position for Boston.

Check out the full piece at CBSBostonsports.com. In the meantime you can sound off in the comments. Should Saric be on the Celtics radar?



  • hax

    It’d be a massive reach from the #6 spot. If Danny actually likes him, we’re better off hoping he falls to 17. What does it say about his desire to be an NBA player if he won’t even come to the NBA unless a historically great franchise drafts him?

    For those who don’t know him, think Tiago Splitter but faster and weaker. And again, he is 6’10, if we want him at PF we already have the log jam of Sully-Olynyk-Bass. He’d have to be a 6’10 SF for us, but Jeff Green destroys this guy.

    • Ping

      As for his desire, a lot of the pressure is coming from his father and coaches. Maybe he does have a bit of an ego going, but his motivation for staying in Europe is Barca. It’s been reported he’s considering a deal with them to improve his game at an even higher pro level before coming here.

      Tiago Splitter is a terrible comparison. As I said, he’s a wing player. He’s never been a center and never will be. He’s only qualified as a PF because of his height. His skillset fits the wing very well, or perhaps the oft-used “stretch” PF. Go read his profile at DraftExpress. He’s their 8th ranked player:

      • Ping

        “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.

        Despite showing excellent fluidity and coordination for a player his size, its Saric’s skill-level, creativity and feel that makes him unique, and not amazing athleticism. His basketball IQ is simply off the charts, as his knowledge and understanding of the game is extraordinary relative to his age. The place where that’s most visible is in his passing ability, as he does a great job of seeing the floor and making teammates better, aided greatly by the outstanding vantage point he enjoys at his size.”


      • hax

        I have a sexy counterargument here.
        Going by the last 10 drafts(2004 +)
        No lottery pick that has gone straight from Europe to the NBA has made an all-star roster.

        Unless I missed something along the way, but I don’t think I did.
        It’s busts and guys who you’d have to argue hard that they are even Top 15 for their position alone(Rubio/Barg/Gallo/Val choo choo nis/Kanter)

        • Ping

          1) Greatly undervaluing Rubio and Valunciunas.

          2) I think most by now realize this is not “the greatest draft ever.” Every player, from Wiggins down to Player X at #14 are flawed.

          3) See my above response about international “busts.” Counting AS appearances against them is silly when the US:Int ratio is 12:140.

  • hax

    The main thing scaring me personally is the list of ‘europe-to-nba’ players that became good NBA players is tiny compared to the bust list.

    They are always a risk. Not sure if the Celtics can survive drafting a bust or two this year.

    • Ping

      To be fair, what’s the hit percentage on US players in the top 10 or 15?

      Saric does’t profile as the European stereotype that can only shoot. He’s a versatile scorer, well above average passer and rebounder for his position (SF, not PF as suggested), and his basketball IQ (whatever that really means) is rated as highly as the top 3 guys. With an improving shot and footwork on defense, Saric may eventually be more than a bench player. He could turn into a legitimate scoring/handling option. Think Danilo Gallinari or better.

      I have zero qualms with DA taking Saric at 6 over Gordon’s raw offensive game or Vonleh’s questionable size.

      • hax

        For 10-14(late lottery guys)
        Last year’s notables
        Carter-Williams, Olynyk, Adams.

        Other notables from last 10 drafts in that area
        John Henson
        Klay Thompson
        Morris Twins
        Paul George
        Brandon Jennings

        Brook Lopez

        There were some others that are solid, but not special enough.
        Even if you take away 4 of these, that gives us 10/50(20% success rate)

        • Ping

          All well and good, but as I and skeeds have said, the bust % of any spot in the lottery is fairly high. You said it yourself, it’s near 20%. Who is to say Gordon or Smart is any more of a lock than Saric?

          You listed a bunch of guys, with only one international. So here:

          2013: Adams, Antetokounmpo (pick 15, granted)
          2012: –
          2011: Kanter, Valanciunas, Vesely, Biyombo
          2010: –
          2009: –
          2008: Gallinari
          2007: Jianlian
          2006: Bargnani, Sene
          2005: Korolev, Vazquez
          2004: Biedrins

          Those are all the international lottery picks in the last 10 years. Depending on how you rate these guys, I’d say they have at least a 33% hit rate (Kanter, Valanciunas, Gallinari, Adams). You could argue for less with Kanter or Adams, but Bargs and Biedrins were also useful NBA starters at one time.

          Point being, there’s no evidence to suggest an international player is any more risky than Jonny Flynn (2009) or Ekpe Udoh (2010) at #6.

        • skeeds

          Statistically what you’re trying to prove holds no water Hax. We’re talking about a handful of guys ever drafted in comparison to hordes of us players entering (and exiting) the league.

          Here’s an equally skewed perspective: Of 11 German players to ever play in the nba, one has become a perennial all star and finals mvp. That’s a a 10% turnaround.
          Seriously though, of 51 european players playing this season, 2 made the all star team, that’s 4%, which is almost precicely as many as American players ( 21/approx.460, or 4.5%).

          The reasons very very few European players drafted in the lottery actually become stars is that a) there’s very few of them, less than 1 in every draft class, and b) nba scouting still sucks in evaluating international talent and potential, both ways, either over hyping guys to the point of ridiculousness, (Rubio), or just being completely clueless and disinterested (who passes on Adetokounbo at #13 Ainge? God damn it!)

    • skeeds

      Nop. Sorry Hax, I usually agree with you but I’m calling bullsh*t on this one. Europe-to-NBA players tend sometimes to be overhyped, (Rubio, Valanciunas) but they mostly fare pretty well, especially in the last decade. Of course they don’t generally grow into stars, not any more than players from any other continent, we just tend to have much higher expectations because we still consider “domestically grown” talent better. Which is nonsense imo. If anything they generally have extremely developed fundamentals, like shooting form, footwork, pick&roll defense etc, which is more than you can expect from 95% of the league.

      Same goes for Saric. He probably has the best offensive skillset of any non-guard, his basketball IQ and playmaking skills are off the charts. If he played for Kentucky he’d be a top 5 pick right now no question. His “weakness” is that he’s not really tested. He hasn’t really competed in the Euroleague, doesn’t play in a competitive league like Greece, Italy or Spain, hasn’t really led his national team.
      I personally don’t think he’s worth the risk at # 6, but I don’t think he’s less worth it than Julius Randle. If Ainge downgrades his pick to a #10-#15 I’d go for it.

  • swissflix

    Who gives a s..t about Dino Radja anyway

  • Evan Murphy

    Guy has a 3″ vertical

  • dasein

    I’m down!

    I don’t see Saric’s risk/reward profile as any worse than the Smart/Randle/Vonleh mob. I don’t acknowledge Gordon as an option here (and yes I have watched his Draftexpress vid).

    The Celtics/Lakers thing is clearly just gaming to land in a preferred spot. He’s not the first player to try stuff like this..maybe not even the first in this draft (cough…Embiid, Parker). If it works to the Celtics advantage by making other teams gun-shy, then that’s all good with me.

    Ideally, he’d fall to 17, but iI think there will be enough teams that see him as a top 5 talent that someone would snag him before then. I think I’d prefer Saric via a trade for Charlotte’s 9 and 24, then straight out using the pick on Randle or whoever. He doesn’t feel like a laker pick to me, and the Kings and Hobbobnets wouldn’t risk using a top 10 pick on a guy who might stay overseas so I think the trade down is a very realistic scenario.