76ers trade Elfrid Payton to Magic for Dario Saric, future first-round pick
The Magic and 76ers have reached an agreement on a trade that will send Elfrid Payton to Orlando for the rights to European forward Dario Saric, a future first-rounder and a 2015 second-round pick, according to multiple reports.
Saric had been the Sixers choice, and finally called Magic to offer Elfrid Payton with 30 seconds left on the clock, league source said. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 27, 2014
Saric, who averaged 19.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in the Adriatic League last season, likely won't play in the NBA for two years after signing a contract with Turkish club Anadolu Efes earlier this week. The 6-foot-10, 225-pound forward has an intriguing, versatile skill set and was widely regarded as a lottery pick before withdrawing from the 2013 draft.
The Sixers, who won just 19 games last season, selected center Joel Embiid with the No. 3 pick. With Embiid set to miss several months after undergoing surgery to repair a foot fracture, it's possible neither of Philadelphia's first-round picks will play in 2014-15.
Orlando pulled off one of the early surprises of the draft by taking former Arizona forward Aaron Gordon with the No. 4 pick. In trading for Payton, the Magic could be getting an upgrade for veteran Jameer Nelson at point guard.
Payton, whose stock soared in recent weeks as he shined in workouts, is a strong defender and good athlete who should make a nice complement for guard Victor Oladipo, Orlando's first-round pick last season.
After passing on Dante Exum at No. 4, the Magic acquired a point guard they coveted in Payton. Denver had reportedly been shopping around the eleventh pick (which ended up in Chicago as Doug McDermott), and odds are Orlando was concerned about someone snagging Payton. They shrewdly moved for their guy and filled a need. Now they just have to hope the mid-major guard pans out.
Philly continued on its long rebuild with the selection of injured Joel Embiid, and in Saric, they got another guy who will take at least another year, more likely two, to arrive in the NBA. However, nabbing a talent like Saric and stockpiling future assets while doing it looks like a coup for a team devoted to the process. How exactly Saric fits with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid is yet to be seen, but weighing risk and reward, the move fits the Sixers' plans and makes a lot of sense.