With six days remaning until players can officially withdraw their name from early entry into the 2013 NBA Draft, you have to wonder if Croatian point forward Dario Saric is set to change his mind . . . again.
Late last week Saric's agent, Robert Jablan, said in an interview with Bourban Street Shots that his client would withdraw from the draft, but haven't we seen this song and dance before over the last few months?
There is no doubt that Saric is a first round pick at 6-foot-10, 225 pounds and drawing comparisons at 19-years old to Magic Johnson, unfair or otherwise. But Saric's camp has maintained all along that if he is not a lottery pick, then remaining overseas would be the best option.
Saric basically said as much in a separate interview last week with David Hein of Germany based Heinnews:
“I don’t know. In this moment maybe my name will be put out (withdrawn) in this draft. I must talk to my agent and make a decision,” said Saric.
When asked why he would pull his name out, he added: “I don’t know … I might not be ready at this moment.”
Saric, however, knows one thing is certain – he will be spending the 2013-14 season in Europe.
Q: Would you go to the States next season if you’re drafted?
A: I would try to stay here in Croatia.
Q: That doesn’t matter where you’re picked. You plan on coming back next year?
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Q: To continue to work on your game?
“Right now, it’s a lot better than about four months ago. I am playing really good right now. I know I played really bad this season but I expect to fix this in the playoffs,” said Saric.
When asked what he needs to do in his game, he added: “My game must grow up in every level of basketball. I must work a lot on my shot.”
So there you have it. The kid is staying in Croatia. Right?
Some familiar with Saric's situation and hands-on fathering by Predrag Saric -- with whom son Dario has reportedly had a falling out with and is not on speaking terms regarding the decision of sitting out the 2013 NBA Draft -- feel this is simply a ploy to drive up Saric's stock before June 17, when players can remove their name for the draft.
The New Orleans Pelicans have taken an interest in Saric. So has the Dallas Mavericks. The Portland Trail Blazers brass flew to Croatia in April to see Saric play. And right now he is projected to go mid-first round.
Yet, this all comes down to June 17. While removing Saric's name (according to his agent) is the decision, you just never know what is going to happen when it comes to Dario Saric.
There was a DUI incident back in December. His license was suspended.
FIBA had to intervene during his dramatic publicized spit with KK Zagreb (who was awarded 550,000 Euros).
He did not play for months and finally signed a four-year contract with Cibona Zagreb, who now owns a 1.2 million Euro buyout.
Then in a matter of 10 days in mid-April, Saric went from saying he will not declare for the 2013 NBA Draft to officially declaring for the 2013 NBA Draft.
The latest scuttlebutt from Croatia: Saric was fined 1,000 Euros for violating team rules and breaking curfew earlier this month.
Kids will be kids, right?
At this juncture in his young professional career that mantra could hurt Saric in the end and some feel already has. And while any NBA team should and will do their complete homework on Saric, right now the focus is on his overall ability on the floor.
The question is, will he be competing on an NBA floor or in Europe when all is said and done.
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